19 February 2009

The Little Things in Life

This thought was sparked by a post elsewhere in blogdom and it's not a current issue for me at the moment, so I thought I'd post it now.

If you want to do a very small thing to be kind to your minister, don't give him or her letters to deliver to other people that you could easily put in the post or deliver yourself.

Why?

1) The minister probably has a list of 50 small things like that to do and the longer the list gets, the more stress it creates. Personally speaking, I'm not kidding when I say I'm afraid I'll forget; don't laugh it off because you think 'I'm young'. It's not my age, it's the number of things on the to do list.

2) In many cases, the minister will either have to get in the car specifically to deliver your letter or will have to put it in the post himself. If she does the former, the cost of petrol might very well exceed the cost of the stamp not to mention the cost of CO2 to the environment.

3) Because who thought kindness to your minister could be bought for the price of a 2nd class stamp? Post that letter and give yourself a pat on the back and say 'Well done.'

11 comments:

Olive Morgan said...

I find this incredible! Do people really ask the Minister to act as postman? I'd never think of doing such a thing!

PamBG said...

It's my experience.

I think it's innocent enough: people think you're going to be seeing so-and-so soon so they might as well give you something for them. I do mean church-related things, but still. It happens frequently and enough that I find it stressful.

The most bizarre one was when Person A drove past Person B's house to give me some documents to give to Person B! Person B isn't a member of any of my churches and I rarely see him. I had to make a special trip to get the envelope to him. Ridiculous.

Fat Prophet said...

I was tempted to say but Pam you do only work one day a week!!!
I said that to Samuel at Church Council last night and he proceeded to tell me what a normal week was like for him.

PamBG said...

I said that to Samuel at Church Council last night and he proceeded to tell me what a normal week was like for him

I have a lovely picture in my mind of a very kind, gentle and serious man going through the list. :-)

It's been a very weird fortnight. It would be a theological statement and not gratuitous cursing to say that all hell broke loose after the snow went away. Strange.

Rachel said...

You're so right, Pam, though I have learned to politely decline requests on the basis that I'm too unreliable to trust in such matters. One of my pet hates in my previous station where I had oversight of 6 churches, no Circuit admin help, and no photocopier in any of "my" churches, was when organisations (often other churches) asked you to circulate things for them, enclosing only one copy. The work involved was totally disproportionate to the interest I could virtually guarantee would be generated by said information (usually nil!). I have also learned that my time is usually more valuable than the cost of a stamp.

Rev Tony B said...

What is about mailing publicity that makes people enter a brain-free zone? I get stuff to give to my churches - 1 copy, which I have to copy (I can, but that's my time, ink, etc) and then circulate to my 5 churches. I could scan and email, but then that's their ink, etc. At the same time, I get stuff posted with my name on it to each of my churches; my stewards think it's for me, so dutifully come down to my house and drop them off - so I get 5 copies of the same bumf from the council!

I'm not a postman. I won't accept letters to give to people (well, I have to in synod packs, but that's a bit different), and if I have a load of bumf to circulate, the odds are that sooner or later it will be shredded and recycled and the events will not be supported.

So there! ;)

PamBG said...

Hah! Rachel and Tony, I'm glad it's not just me.

Sally said...

I get this too.

Fat Prophet said...

Pam you were absolutely right about the kind gentle serious man going through the list. I did explain the 'joke' and he said I was very naughty - he of course was absolutely right I am very naughty on a frequent and consistent basis.
Just a thought about the snow perhaps it was the 'all hell' brewing up that melted it!!!!

Methodist Preacher said...

Historically, way back in the depths of 18th century methodist history, this was precisely how methodists kept in touch. The itinerant Ministers would move around large circuits (often the size of a couple of present day English counties) and it was taken for granted that they should double up as postmen (remember this was before Rowland Hill who living in Kiddy you will know all about.

I find it odd in my own circuit that documents like local preachers minutes are given to one person to give to others. But that seems to be where we are these days.

The sadness of your post is that reminds us how far behind the rest of the world parts of methodism are - why not just send an email or pick up the telephone?

One other point as a professional communicator - it you want to make sure a message is delivered, deliver it yourself. Your top priority is someone else's "nice to do".

PamBG said...

Funny how this post seems to have drawn a lot of response. ;-)

The sadness of your post is that reminds us how far behind the rest of the world parts of methodism are - why not just send an email or pick up the telephone?

Emails would be a perfect solution and I email whenever I can. I reckon that about 20% of the population in my congregations have email.

One other point as a professional communicator - it you want to make sure a message is delivered, deliver it yourself. Your top priority is someone else's "nice to do".

Yes, quite!