Friday, February 26, 2016

Doug and I (CCC part 5)

Doug Abbott is the Director of Church Administration at Faith. And believe me, I get a large charge out of the fact that the guy who runs the church is named Abbott. Hang around us for a a little, though, and you'll notice that Faith is no monastery.

Doug was also a florist before he came to Faith full time. Which means this little meme that was going around the internet applies particularly to him:

Only you can prevent Florist Friars


Doug doesn't mind a little humor at his expense--in fact, since our Associate Pastor left, he's hardly ever the butt of age jokes anymore. He used to get them every week. I'll bet he misses them (and he had some pretty good rebuttals).

But that's neither here nor there.

Doug runs a pretty tight ship, and it is a pretty complex ship to run. Faith is probably the only church in town which not only has four services, but is successful at different worship styles. Naturally this tends to produce worship wars, and Faith has in the past succumbed. But with time and effort, the church has managed to stay united. Given that I was hired as organist in the traditional services, I could be awfully partisan. In fact (I'm going to sound like Paul, here): I have more reason to be. When I was first hired, the pastor who ran the "contemporary" service refused to hire me to play with the band, even though I was quite able and willing to do it. But because it was the "traditional" pastor's idea to hire me, he wasn't interested. So, sight unseen (he was on vacation when I auditioned) I lost that portion of my income as well as a chance to play for all of the services. Eventually, after the fellow they hired moved away, some four years later, I was hired for the band as well. The benefits of being a part of the entire worshiping body each week are great.

Since I'm writing to organists, I realized the term "praise band" might be like a red flag to a bull. We'll get into that later. Just remember that feuds can have consequences.

Doug, in addition to his administrative job, is the coordinator of "Fusion"--our "contemporary" worship service. But as the guy in charge of the finances (along with our treasurer) he doesn't show favoritism. The worship spaces have both gotten new things in past years. In the "traditional" sanctuary, new carpet and a major pipe organ refurbishment are just some of the things that show that all parts of the church are important to him. This sets an important tone from our leadership, which of course includes our new pastors, that we are a united but diverse body of Christ, and that everybody's ministry is important. Of course, sometimes he has to get a little tough with vendors who don't do their jobs properly. That's when he takes off his glasses. Believe me, you don't want to be around when that happens!

Generally, though, Doug is a fun and genial guy. I spend some time in his office choosing music for the "Fusion" service, then rehearsing it with the band on Thursday nights. We hang after staff meetings--that's when most of the staff goes to lunch. He pops his head into my "office" sometimes to check about something. And he must sigh internally when I come to see him about the latest thing I've noticed that looks fishy about the building, but he rarely lets on and is his cool and collected self (he did seem a little concerned when the ceiling tiles in the sanctuary fell a couple of Easters ago!). Whenever there is a problem, we go see Doug about it. And if something sets off the alarm at 3 in the morning--well, he doesn't get a lot of sleep that night. Despite which, he manages to have a sense of humor. I know because he sometimes laughs at my jokes, which is the best way to tell, naturally.

Doug has also been videographer for my organ recitals, so if and when I get around to posting some of those, you'll have him to thank. The people of Faith have a number of things to thank him for, as well. Although the pastors are the church bosses, due to an appointment system they move around from time to time, even though ours are usually in place for a decade or more. I have no idea how many years Doug's been around, but he's provided stability and leadership for this church for a long time.

1 comment:

  1. Doug is a great guy. I admit to a slight bias as he is my father, but the fact is that it's true. Faith is very fortunate to have such a dedicated servant in its fold.


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