"A minister needs time to think creatively and playfully." — Susan Page Townsley
Seminaries and social work programs often ask their students to create a self-care plan. Not only does this send a message about self-care while pursuing a degree, ordination, or certification, it also makes clear that self-care is a life-long commitment for those who serve the church and others.
"The interconnectedness of justice issues and climate impact means that your action at every level matters." — Pam Arifian
"The stewardship committee often is placed in the church trustee/finance budget constellation of people. It belongs in the deacon/faith formation constellation of people." — Charlie Kuchenbrod
"And churches stay on the ground, involved in helping people find their way into a new normal, long after the news crews have moved on to the next disaster or lead story." —Rev. Don Remick
The church is no stranger to controversy. Chapter 15 of the Book of Acts describes a heated debate among the apostles at a gathering in Jerusalem. Should Gentiles be welcomed as Jesus’ followers or only Jews who kept Moses’ law by getting circumcised? When they resolved the matter, the letter they sent out to the churches acknowledged God’s work in the midst of disagreement: “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us,” they wrote, that even non-Jews should be welcomed (Acts 15:28). Yet...
"Churches are closing and it’s time to break the silence." — Rev. Jonathan New
Many people feel called to their work and respond to job demands in ways that reflect a sense of vocation. But do we expect clergy to perform their calling with even greater devotion and sacrifice? Because clergy define their work as sacred, taking care of themselves may always be a lower priority. One writer describes the high cost of sacred work in this way: “if your backdrop is burning bushes and having a child at age ninety, or if it’s bumping into an angel with premarital plans for you . . ...
In the 1950s, a new church start pastor challenged every member to invite two newcomers each month. Members enthusiastically committed to such a plan and the pastor’s wife, feeling a special call to grow the children’s ministry, regularly prayed for new babies to be part of the church’s growth. No one was more surprised than she was when half of the young couples in the congregation became pregnant that year! Although this was not an intentional church growth strategy, growing families primarily...
"High touch—paying attention—reduces these anxieties." —Martha Goodman