Like the booming bass voice declares at the beginning of the “Festival of the Lion King” show: IT… IS… TIME!
The 30/30 Challenge was introduced during the Spring Congregational Meeting and in the service leading up to it. At that time colorful catalogs explaining and outlining various options for completing the Challenge were distributed – thanks Renee! And the Challenge has been mentioned periodically over the summer. At the Fall Congregational Gathering on September 7, you will be asked to officially make your choices about what you are going to do to fulfill your part of the Challenge.
Remember that the 30/30 Challenge is that every member, friend, and visitor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ will “engage in at least 30 hours of Outreach and at least 30 hours of In-house Service every year.” Keep in mind that successful completion of the Challenge requires EVERYONE associated with this Congregation to meet at least the minimum threshold of 30/30. (If you get this email, you are included in “everyone.”)
An electronic version of the catalog is being distributed by way of the church email list. Maybe you have already received yours. Look it over and make your plan. Some hard copies of the catalog will be available for use during the meeting and by those who do not receive email.
In the manner of a “Ministry Fair,” on September 7, tables will be set up around Fellowship Hall and each activity listed in the 30/30 Challenge catalog will have both a contact person and a way to sign up. Some activities, like involvement with Mentoring Teams or Advertising and Church Growth, will require that you begin almost immediately. Others will provide opportunities to put your name on a list for later contact, like, for example, if you sign on to be an usher in March.
A great effort was made to include activities for people in all sorts of circumstances and with a broad range of gifts, from cooking, baking and building, to mentoring, tutoring and visiting, from organizing behind the scenes to spreading the word in the public square. There are options that require brief, one-time commitments and those that require year-long involvement with a specific team or project. You might want to stay with activities with which you are already involved. Or you might choose to dabble in an array of things. The hope is that, ultimately, you will use the catalog to cobble together a plan that works for you, allows you to engage your passions and gifts, and fits into your life.
I honestly don’t know if this is a big commitment. Thirty hours is a rather random number that seemed well-matched with the economy of church life. That bar may even seem a bit daunting at first glance. But then again, there are a whole lot of hours left over in a year that this Challenge will not affect at all – nearly 9,000 as a matter of fact. How much do you feel a need to give back for the blessings you receive every day? Imagine what difference we might all make together by way of concerted and collective work in the world.
You need to weigh your commitment to this Challenge against other things that demand your time. And you will be the final time-keeper for your contribution to the Challenge. There is no mechanism to keep track of what you are up to or how you are doing with meeting your hours. If this is the kind of thing you work out privately with God, have at it. If your faith requires meaningful action, get busy!
At the end of the day, this is a profound opportunity to live our faith in real ways, and to make a whole lot of difference in the world. More than just doing things, it is truly an opportunity to transform ourselves and our Beloved Congregation. Together, let’s get the 30/30 Challenge and this church year off to a tremendous start!
*Note that if you are unable to attend the Congregational Gathering on September 7, you can be in touch with contact people for all activities by way of the contact chart in the back of the catalog.