Ken Carter offers wise words that I need to hear:
I have seen some of the research about clergy well-being, and some of it related to vacation: many clergy do not take all of their vacation days, and those who seem to be healthy are able to get some distance from the work. We most often get away in the summer, but for some reason we have been able to take some time away this year in the dead of winter, and I can only say that I recommend it. It began with the preaching schedule, that allowed me to be away on a Sunday. My colleague would be preaching, the Scouts (Boy and Girl) would be assisting in the liturgy, and so that worked out. I asked a friend, who is preparing for ordination, to visit on a couple of my hospital days, and that also helped with the visitation load. I communicated all of this with two chairs of committees, whose meetings I would be missing. I promised that I would catch up with them when I returned.
December had been hectic. Advent had been full. End of year giving was a stretch. Christmas eve was a marathon. Then a good friend called on the day after Christmas: her husband was in the process of dying, her son was in from out of town. I went over, and we visited and planned the service, which fell on the New Year's holiday. Then Epiphany. Then guests from Haiti joined us for a few days, and the missionary Jim Gulley was with us, his sermon live streamed across the world via Rethink Church. Then the administrative work leading to the approval of the budget, which, thanks be to God, was better than I could have imagined.
So a week emerged, an opening. Miraculously, it was there in my wife's schedule. Since she is heavily involved in mission work in Haiti, this is not always a given. And so we spent a period of eight days away from Charlotte, three in the mountains of western North Carolina, and five in New Orleans.
Don't stop reading now! Check out the rest of Ken's post, "Vacation," here.
Good word, Allan.
This reminds me though that in my conference local pastors are only supposed to be given two Sundays a year off.
John... that's simply not enough.
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