Friends, I’m going to be blunt and (hopefully) brief. It’s hard for me to say this to you, but it’s important. Serving as your pastor for the month of April has been an honor, but it has also pushed me to my human limits. I’ve tried my best to keep us safe, together, and encouraged by the faith that we share. It has been a real roller coaster of emotion and quite beyond the normal stress of the Easter season. In short, I am exhausted. And, I know that I am not the only one who is feeling stretched to their limits.
But it’s also an important part of our spiritual health that we recognize the signs of exhaustion and take the appropriate steps to seek the renewal we need. It’s not a weakness to admit when we’re at our limit, it’s a sign of maturity. Perhaps, in my case, it is a rare one.
Jesus knew this. I hardly remember any Greek, but I remember the phrase for ‘a deserted place’ because he was so often headed for one. So, I take solace in knowing that I am following him as I try to take a few more days off this month. I am not sure I’ve had one completely off for the six or so weeks that we’ve been out of the church.
This is not to say that the church should stop being ‘the’ Church. On the contrary, please be the Church. You are creative people with good ideas. What are some of the ways you can think of to help us minister to others. Technology can solve a lot of things, but not everything. What are some ingenious ideas that you have for furthering the mission of Christ’s church. You don’t need my permission for anything, but if it’s something you’d like to organize along with other members, maybe bounce it off of a couple leaders to help you consider the issues.
It’s also not to say that I’m going AWOL. I’m just going to try and take a couple days off for the next few weeks. I have a scheduled vacation coming up at the end of the month, but with the situation being so unpredictable it could easily be canceled like the short break I had scheduled in March. I’ll be trying to take Monday and Thursday off this week, we’ll see how it goes. I’m here if you need me in an emergency, but please be patient with my response if your message isn’t urgent.
It’s been a LOT to handle. If you are having trouble, I advise you to pray about what it is you need for renewal and advocate for yourself to others who can help you realize it. Thank you for your encouragement, support, and understanding. God bless you and keep you safe and at home as much as possible.