Update from the Laboratory of Love
Recently, I came into Father Chip’s/my office and found a note on the desk, “Thank you for everything you do.” Signed with a smiley face. I don’t know who left me this note, but whoever you are, thank you! And if you aren’t part of the Laboratory of Love group, you should join us.
We started our work by brainstorming what it means to be a laboratory of love, and how, here at St. Andrew’s, we might spread some love around the church, the island community and maybe even beyond. We started with the premise that everyone, everywhere, is short-staffed, and people are rude, grumpy, angry and want whatever it is they expect, yesterday! How can we say thank you to people for the work they do and maybe encourage some patience in everything? In other words, in this 24/7 world that is so short staffed, how can we practice an attitude of gratitude?
November is the perfect month to launch such a project, keeping in mind that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. One easy way to begin is encouraging and challenging everyone to come up with some prayers of thanksgiving during the Prayers of the People. Please add them to the list at the back of the church or just speak them aloud during the service. Wouldn’t it be nice if our list of prayers of thanksgiving were as long as our prayers of petition! Maybe even some people would be willing to stand up in church and share something they are grateful for.
The other plan is to come up with a small card (business-card sized) that will have some kind of slogan/blessing (yet to be determined at the next meeting) that parishioners could take and pass out to various people they see in the course of their week – think Stop and Shop workers, bank tellers, restaurant servers and so on. This is not designed to attract people to St. Andrew’s, although we will have the name of the church printed in small letters at the bottom of the card, but just to say, “thank you”. Thank you for the work you do in the community, and hopefully this will counterbalance some of the rudeness and mean spiritedness you have to deal with.
Finally, starting in November, there will be a large white board outside the front steps, visible to anyone walking down the street, with markers to write down something they are grateful for. The thought is to start with Sundays and then, during Thanksgiving week, leave it out for the entire week. Let’s focus on an attitude of gratitude instead of what we can’t have yesterday due to supply chain issues.
Our next meeting will be this Monday, November 1st, via zoom, if you would like to join in this discussion and action planning (just please let anyone of us know). And to whoever left the note on my desk, I’ve been enjoying it all week. Think what we could do if we spread some gratitude, and love, around the island!
Cynthia Hubbard and the committee: Palmer Marrin, Chris White, Sue Kelly, Jon Baxter, Dana Anderson (all the way from Hawaii) and Carrie Caldwell