You might think that the title of this visit with you has something to do with sports. After all, this is my favorite season of the athletic year. I look forward to watching my New York Football Giants try to give away the game each week. I love them, but I worry that there are two diametrically-opposed teams working in the same time space continuum.
There is the tough, hard-hitting gang that show up and kick the crap out of their opponents. Then there is that group of imposters who show up, drug the real team, and then go out and proceed to play like a Pop Warner squad. Ah, the joys of the fall season.
No this week's visit has more to do with another meaning of the word 'score'. I am using it within the musical context, whereby the score is the overall plan by which an orchestra's conductor works to weave the tapestry of the many different instruments into a pleasing performance for the benefit of the audience who has come to see them create music.
Each one of you has a part to play in the score which your fire department uses to orchestrate its daily life. Some people play the high notes and some people are charged with playing the low notes. The key to success comes from insuring that all of the parts are covered. Therein lies one of the major problems in the modern fire service. There are simply not enough people available to cover all of the parts.
As a tuba player, I understand this quite well. The job of the tuba section in any band is to provide a solid base of support for the band. In the absence of the bottom provided by a tuba section, the sound of the band can sometimes seem thin and lacking in depth. A band does its best job when all of the parts are covered and all of the players are working hard to provide the best sound that they possibly can. The same holds true with many things in life.
This Sunday just past was Stewardship Sunday at the Colts Neck Reformed Church. This is an important day in the life of a congregation, because it is the time where we are all asked to ponder our level of personal and financial support of the church for the coming year. There are those who suggest that this is the day of the year when the Hand of the Lord reaches down to touch their wallets.
There was a time when I shared this view. However, such is no longer the case. I now see the need to become a steward of what has been entrusted to us during our time here on earth. As I sat listening to our Senior Pastor Scott Brown speak to the need to share our time, our good fortune, and our personal treasures with the Lord, the wheels within my brain began to spin.
If it is important to be a steward of the resources of our church, is not the same thing true in our fire departments. My fire company has been around quite awhile. Not as long a time as some, but more than others. Very few of us were at the meetings which created our fire departments. Heck, the last Charter Member of the Adelphia Fire Company passed away at least two decades ago.
These pioneers were the folks who got things started way back in 1927. Like many fire departments around America, ours was born out of a local tragedy. A fatal fire occurred on an extremely foggy night. Fire protection in those days was provided by the Freehold Fire Department, about four miles to our north. Their response was delayed by the terrible fog conditions that fateful night.
At that time, a group of concerned citizens came together to address the concerns of the community. From this initial meeting grew an organization we now know as the Howell Township Fire Company #One. Since we have long been located in beautiful, downtown Adelphia, New Jersey, we have morphed into doing business as the Adelphia Fire Company.