Dedicated Volunteers Help Us Through Transition
In addition to the changes in the way “do church” as a result of the pandemic, several staff positions have recently opened up, necessitating onboarding and various setups to acclimate new hires. What’s more, preparing our church inside and out for the Christmas season and ongoing improvements to our building have added a new layer to a fluid situation at 300 E. Gartner Road.
A few of our outstanding volunteers during this time of transition merit acknowledgment by name.
Anyone who enters our doors is bound to see Ron on any given day of the week. While he is humble and averse to recognition, he has deservedly been called a “rock star” for his willingness to step up and step in to myriad tasks. These include onboarding our second shift custodian, Oscar Olivares; configuring room setups; ordering supplies; issuing keys; installing lights in the music hallways; setting up phones for new staff; managing check signing and bank representative responsibilities; running lights at our December 17 luminary drive-through; organizing our Christmas Eve custodians; securing vendors for our “Raise the Roof” initiative (and literally getting on the roof); setting up our new security cameras; establishing the software system that will allow first responders to know from which phone(s) any emergency calls inside the church are coming, and a lot more!
“When I agree to do something, I do it,” said Ron of his dedicated volunteer service at Grace.
Joan could quite literally be called the “face of Grace,” as hers is the first most people see when they come into our main entrance. As she has for years, Joan attends our welcome desk, answering the phones and visitors’ questions and guiding them to where they need to go and whom they need to see. Joan has led our team of dedicated front desk volunteers for over 20 years, training and scheduling them to ensure that the desk is attended during church hours. Since the pandemic, her team of nearly ten regular volunteers has shrunk, and Joan attends the desk as many as five mornings a week.
“I do whatever needs to be done,” said Joan. That includes preparing and sending bulk mailings, sending thank you notes for various campaigns, and acting as liaison between staff and those who enter the building.
“I enjoy helping,” said Joan, who left the business world in New York over 50 years ago when her daughter was born. “I get more out of volunteering than I give.”
Those two words are uttered often at Grace by anyone who has a technical question or needs to know how something works. Chris has been invaluable to bringing Grace up to speed and into the digital age. For starters, he built our entire church website from scratch. Along with Jesse Schnute, he also completely rewired the building’s Ethernet, pulling over two miles of cable. On top of that, he reworked our WiFi into what’s now known as GraceWiFi, established our audio, then video livestream capabilities from A to Z, and is often manning the soundboard at the back of the sanctuary.
Outside of his technical expertise, Chris and his wife, Traci, took on leadership of the Portico Collective initiative after Pastor Matthew left. Chris also assisted Ron Laub in readying the Activity Center for the 9:00 a.m. Gathering worship.