By Pastor John Hulden

I go out to church now
     workin’ my committee for the Lord
I go every second Tuesday night
     workin’ my committee for the Lord

Jesus called disciples
     workin’ that committee for the Lord
yeah he went down to the lakeshore
     workin’ that committee for the Lord

Deward, Jean, Darlene, Vickie, Marlene, Tom, Alan — I can’t even begin to list all the church council presidents I worked with and learned from in my first 26 years in the parish. Today especially, I’m grateful for lay leaders in our ELCA congregations. Oh my goodness, what a gift they bring with their passion and leadership to congregations.

But why am I grateful this particular day?

Because miracles do happen. Two-hundred-and-fifty church leaders showed up this snowy Saturday morning — after a very snowy week — to do churchy work. Say what? 250? Yikes!

The synod’s annual Tool Kit and Conference Assemblies event just finished. There were churchy workshops about “Financial Best Practices,” “Safety and Emergency Preparedness,” “Who lives in my Neighborhood?,” “Connecting with your Community,” “Ready to Talk about Culture and Race?,” “Maximizing the Value of your Real Estate,” and more.

Teams of leaders came from congregations across our synod. (“Snowy roads? Big deal! I’ve got churchy workshops to go to!”) Speaking of miracles, most even brought their pastors.


IN MY WORK FOR YOU, one of the many blessings is to meet lay leaders – church council presidents, call committee chair people, confirmation mentors, choir members, music leaders, volunteer parish nurses. The wonderful list goes on and on.

And what to lay leaders do? They meet in meetings!

Whether we think it is a bane or blessing, the people of God need to organize themselves by meeting in meetings. Meetings move the mission of God forward through the ministry of a congregation. Well, that’s what I think happens at church meetings. Plus, a meeting gives the people of God the opportunity to grow, learn, support, and pray together. (Yes, don’t forget to check-in with each other and pray at your meetings!)

That reminds me of a missed opportunity for most of my last call up in Moorhead. It was only the last year or two I was there that I had the wherewithal to go visit the funeral servers as they got the funeral lunch ready. I would gather them together, thank them for their ministry, and then we’d pray. We’d pray for the grieving family. We’d pray for God to bless the funeral service and the hospitality offered. It took me 15 years at that call before I figured out that praying with the funeral servers just might be a good idea. Because after all, they were “workin’ their committee for the Lord”!

And, here are the last two verses of Jonathan Rundman’s song:

Luther took his hammer
     workin’ that committee for the Lord
yeah he walked up to the front door
     workin’ that committee for the Lord

Mildred goes to church now
     workin’ her committee for the Lord
she got her needle and her thread now
     workin’ her committee for the Lord

(Thanks to Jonathan Jonathan Rundman for allowing me to share these lyrics. You can find the song at track #10 on the Reservoir album at