Below is the earlier article we ran about how the staff wasn’t sure we could handle all the extra work of the animals’ month long stay with us.
The good news: people have raised their hands and offered to help us figure out how to share the burden of caring for the animals so they can be with us.
We will be meeting after worship on Sun., 10.26, to start planning for the Creche. It’s a fun time of year around Old First, and we could probably make more of it… with a bit of creativity and organization.
Join us for the meeting– and to add what you can to this outreach ministry we’re known for, won’t you?
We had put on our staff meeting agenda for early September “the Creche.” The question for us was how could the staff continue to provide the lion’s share of that ministry. We organize volunteers to do the feeding and the clean-up. And when there’s no one else to do it, we do it ourselves. At a busy time of the year, we are afraid that’s just not sustainable.
Last year, Michael started asking early for a group that really cared about the ministry to help us organize it. That request isn’t necessarily asking you to come daily and feed and muck. Instead, it’s about planning for the creche so it’s not such a last minute crush for staff. How could we get more publicity? Could we do more with it while it is up? How can we invite and organize volunteers to feed and clean the stable?
The staff’s feeling was that if folks do not come forward and help, we might have to shorten the animals’ stay. We thought that perhaps we could have them in residence only for a week right at Christmas.
On some level, that would be a shame. Though our many creche visitors do not translate directly to visits in worship, still it is the single biggest draw of guests to Old First each year. And the early service last Christmas Eve was the biggest crowd of guests we saw all year. All that gets up on people’s proverbial maps and in people’s heads a bit more. That’s perhaps a needle in the animals’ haystack, but it’s important more generally for our overall mission of reaching out further to welcome people in.