Our special thanks to Al, Sue, Bob Milne, Corrie, two community volunteers, two Laurier students, and their family members for helping us with intense gardening on Tuesday, June 14!
Around 8 AM on the way to the church, I stopped at a hardware store. I was shopping for a pair of gardening gloves. I laughed at myself the whole time in the store because I gave away all my gardening tools (and gloves) when I moved to Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church. I was actually pleased to give them away. I lived in a manse that was surrounded by four gigantic maple trees and seven large flower beds. If there was one minor complaint I had with my previous congregation, it was that they did not say anything about gardening in their profile under the “Pastoral Skills and Interest Inventory” section. It should have been 1) Leading Worship and Preaching, 2) Crisis Visiting, and 3) Gardening. I shouldn’t go on about it since they probably have similar complaints about me.
I’ve always felt overwhelmed with gardening because I wasn’t good at it. “Am I doing the right thing?, Am I killing this plant by cutting too much?, When is the right time to do this and that”? I just tried to imitate what my neighbours were doing.
But I never felt I was doing it right. Plus, if I have to choose between sitting down with a book or gardening, I will always choose the former. However, one thing gardening does help me with is to feel more grateful for what I did— after a day of gardening, writing a sermon suddenly feels a whole lot easier.
After 16 years of ministry, this is what I feel we should put into a congregation’s— the kind of skills that people seek from a minister:
- Ability to garden.
- Ability to get rid of a dead mouse or a flying bat without screaming or running away.
- Ability to preach within 14 minutes and 59 seconds.
- Ability to use the word “homologate” effectively in any meeting.
- Ability to finish a meeting within 1 hour and 59 minutes.
- Ability to brew a good pot of coffee.
- Ability to negotiate well at a yard sale.
- Ability to make the best pancake.
- Ability to bake a communion bread without burning it or being visited by firefighters.
- Ability to laugh at ourselves; and
- Knowing when to stop writing.
—Rev. Chuck Moon
Photo credit: “My trusty gardening gloves & secateurs which need a good clean by the look of them”. By shrinkin’violet from Bristol, UK. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.
A version of this message first appeared in the Friday, June 17, 2022, edition of Tidbits.