Where I will Put My Energy
Well, hello, St. Stephen’s!
To be honest, I didn’t see myself taking on any interim ministries in retirement. Instead, I’ve been putting most of my working time into becoming a certified coach. That and doing all the family and travel things that retirement allows (and COVID did not prevent).
But an interim ministry at a place like St. Stephen’s where the folks are actively engaged in doing what ministry they can in the neighborhood where God has put them? That is enticing!
So, here are (some of) my prejudices:
In 21st cent. America, it’s easy for good, faithful, committed church folks to be worried about their church. But, ironically, the best thing for us who are worried about our church to do is quit worrying about our church and start worrying about all the people around us who need a Gospel ministry and need the hope and strength that come from knowing the God we know as Jesus, his Father, and their Spirit. To do that takes great faith, chiefly the faith to believe that God will take care of us.
No congregation in these times should call a pastor until it has listened hard and discerned together why God has put them (in this case) at 13th and N. Broom St. in 2022. And also discerned what is our ministry with each other, with those in need, and with those who care about the same things God cares about.
It will be good for us and our ministry to re-engage with spiritual practices that keep us rooted in the love of God. This is foundational.
And that, friends, will be the focus of my ministry during this interim.
Next time, I will write about what I’m thinking my time priorities should be and will very much welcome your comments and the directions of church council.
In the meantime, I want to make sure I tend to your pastoral care needs. If you’re in the hospital, anticipating a surgery, etc. I want to walk with you and pray with you. You can call me at 410-739-5365 and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That this ministry is part time and I live in Dover will present a few challenges, but we’ll work around them.
Pr. Mark Walters