Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We Presbys have pastors' studies, not offices. We used to be teaching elders. So, what does my congregation want most from me? To visit the little old lady shut ins. Now, granted pastoral care is important, but we now have twelve shut ins, in a dying congregation (we have about 50 in worship). And, of course, with an aging congregation we have more than our share of hospitalizations and rehabs. And as an introvert, I'm looking for any excuse.

I want to spend more of my time in study and reflection. If I were to prioritize my time, I would be spending much more in making sure we had an inviting web site, some print stuff for all the folks who come into the building (we have gymnastics renting space and a preschool). I'd be figuring out how to reach out more to the community. But, for most of the congregation and for a lot of the session what matters is visiting shut ins.

I was reading over my oatmeal Context (a newsletter put out by Martin Marty which is a really short reader's digest of interesting stuff). An article pointed out how we avoid hope. Hope means that we are not in control. Hope means we wait for God. I want to think more deeply about this.

2 comments:

Gannet Girl said...

I wonder if there's a way of combining your preferences with theirs?

A website and newsletter that offer spiritual readings on and insight into the lives of shut-ins and encourages your deacons and elders to take on more leadership in care? A book group on a book about the spirituality of aging? Bible studies/sermons on scriptural images of aging?

I'm musing for myself as much as for you, as I am hoping that the challenge of melding a life of teaching and preaching with a life of spiritual care and guidance with soon be upon me.

Thank you for your prayers.

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