My wife Mary and I started coming to Church of the Resurrection about 15 years ago. We had been here as visitors several times in earlier years when my father was alive and visiting us . . . he was a retired Episcopal minister and liked to come to Resurrection when in the area, though Mary and I were not then attending any church regularly. About a year after my dad passed away I had an epiphany in my life, an experience that convinced me that God was working on me; and as a result Mary and I decided we needed to get out of our rut, become more social and get involved in a church.
But this story is not about that epiphany . . . this story is about the Resurrection Men's Group, and my first experience at being "Garyed"!
When we walked into Resurrection that first Sunday, we both knew that we did not have to go searching for the right church . . . we felt immediately at home, and knew we had found our new family. After the service we were approached by Gary Lawrence, with his clipboard in hand, introducing himself and others to us, and trying to get us signed up for one of the numerous projects he was working on . . . I think the first one might have been a Church Play, or maybe a Gourmet Gala, or maybe suggesting that the upcoming Cursillo might be a good experience for us. Anyway, we were well and truly "Garyed", and got signed up to be involved in something or other, and I also got my name on the list for the next Men's Group Meeting.
These were the greatest choices we could have made, and led to life-changing experiences for us.
We did make our Cursillo that year, we did work with the Gourmet Gala and many other events to come (Gary was always around with his clipboard, and in 15 years I've been "Garyed" so many times that I have permanent calluses on my fingers from signing the clipboard.) Mary even took part in one of Gary's plays (totally out of her comfort zone!). We got involved in a variety of ways . . . choir, lay reading, LEM's, vestry, food events and fun events and worship events . . . and Resurrection has truly become our second family.
And I did go to Men's Group meeting . . . and then the next . . . and the next . . . and the next . . . and one day a year or two down the road I was "Garyed" into taking charge of the Men's Group, and have been doing so ever since.
I've even learned to do a little "Garying" of my own now and again, though I despair of ever having Gary Lawrence's expertise!
Being "Garyed" is one of the finest institutions of this church . . . you might even call it a ministry . . . it certainly is a ministry of love! Don't ever give up your clipboard Gary!
By the way, in case you were wondering . . . I got "Garyed" into writing this!