The saints at St. Stephen's began the Kunstfest festival early on Saturday morning as all the other booths geared up for the day. We had about 30 volunteers for the 2 days of the festival. The days were divided into shifts and everyone worked hard. Saturday was a beautiful, warm fall day and the crowds in town were having fun visiting all the variety of booths and businesses. There were so many choices of food available from the local establishments and various organizations that it would have been hard to choose. St. Stephen's sold grilled pork tenderloin sandwiches. For those of you who have never had this Hoosier favorite it is a thinly sliced piece of pork tenderloin that has been hammered with a meat mallet. It is grilled and served on a bun with dill pickles, lettuce and onions (any or all of these) and your condiment of choice. Here in Indiana it is often breaded and deep fried, but grilled is better. Our locally prepared tenderloins are huge and they sell well. We sold 500 sandwiches on Saturday! We also had 100 Kuchens (German coffee cake) made by our members which we sold out on during Saturday. It was a busy day!
The view towards the middle of town from St. Stephen's
On Sunday the festival begins at 11am - we had our coffee hour outside in front of the church as we prepared for another day raising money. Sunday's weather was not cooperative - it was off and on rainy and the crowds of Saturday did not materialize. We still did a good bit of business and by 5pm we were all ready for Kunstfest to be over. We made about $4000 for our various mission and outreach projects. For me the greatest significance of the weekend was the teamwork. Parishioners who volunteered gave so much of themselves not just to the fundraising project but to each other.
It seems that a common goal brings out the best in us. We find ways to get around the things that divide us when we are working together. Of course it takes a willingness to put our personal feelings aside and become a team of people who are together for a greater good. I continue to wonder how some people are able to let go of hurt feelings to work together and others allow those hurts to become walls. Is it that old hurts get reactivated causing an autonomic action (reaction)? This kind of reaction seems to be so powerful that forgiveness can't break in and logic fails us. I know what that reaction feels like. It is so powerful that even when my heart reveals my own self-indulgent pride to me, I still am paralyzed by the hurt. It feels physiological - like adrenaline being released when we need to flee a dangerous situation. I think this is a crucial part of being open to reconciliation - to come together with those who have hurt us and allow the Holy Spirit to make space in us. Perhaps the space is for forgiveness, or space to listen to the other person, or just to "see" the other person. All of those things, it seems, are necessary for reconciliation - space, listening, seeing the other person.
Just in time for Halloween
It was cool and moist this morning and this spider web was just begging to have its picture taken. I think the Halloween decorations have been displayed since early September. There is even a store in Evansville called "The Halloween Store" - it opened in September. Of course the Christmas decorations are not far behind and in some stores they are intermingled with the Halloween stuff! I'm sure struggling with this...