At RevGals, Kathryn writes: This week, despite substantial planning, the staff here has been reeling a bit from the wave of fall start-up programming combined with conversations looking towards Advent and Christmas. There is a lot to be excited about (Children's Choir sounded great!), but there are also some things that we just have to suck it up and get through (didn't we just do Officer Training last year?).
So for today's Friday 5 I thought we'd hit on the things that give us energy in ministry and the things that take it away:
1) What are a few of the tasks that you find tedious/energy sucking in your ministry position? Please note I said 'tasks' not people :)
Vestry meetings. The items on which we take action area usually in the works anyway, and decisions are generally foregone conclusions. I'd rather meet when there is serious work on the table, when we can be productive and creative. In a small parish where I am the only staff, too much administrative stuff falls on me. I don't mind the work, but too many things don't get done because they are lower on the priority list.
2) Is there anything you could do to make one of them better?
I'm so glad you asked! I'm putting together an administrative team of lay volunteers to help with some of the administrative stuff. Praying that God will nudge those people to action so that some of the things we've wanted to be doing can actually become a reality.
3) What are a few of the tasks that you find energizing in ministry?I love baptisms, especially babies. And leading the liturgy. Being part of hospitality and creative efforts. Our women's group is putting together gift baskets for silent auction, and I'm the one who actually "makes them pretty." It's time consuming (and I consider it volunteer time), but it's satisfying. Producing the parish newsletter. Again, it's the creative thing: writing, graphics, layout... I also enjoy being part of outreach efforts. The picture above is from our first spaghetti dinner, the money from which established a scholarship fund for international students at our local university. We need to build the fund to the point where it will become an endowed scholarship fund ($10,000). When that happens we will celebrate in a really big way!
4) If given a quarterly spiritual day, how would you want to spend it?The first thing I'm going to say here is that a quarterly spiritual day doesn't depend on being given. Take it. And for most of us I would say that such a day would benefit us monthly. I have the "luxury" of working part time, so getting some time for myself comes more easily than it would if I were working full time. When I worked in another city I had a colleague in a different tradition with whom I met for breakfast once a month. Those were long breakfasts (sometimes three hours!), and the day+ that followed that meeting was always productive and newly energized.
How would I want to spend a spiritual day? Somewhere with a beautiful view, a good book and a journal, peace and quiet, and where I didn't have to prepare my meals.
5) If given a quarterly spiritual day, how would you actually spend it?
I would try to spend a quarterly day as described above. During the intervening months, however, I would quilt, or maybe enjoy a day with a girlfriend shopping and indulging in a long, leisurely lunch.
BONUS: What would your Dream Ministry job include?My dream job is to operate a retreat center with the ambiance of a nice B&B. It would include a collection of well-behaved dogs that could be "adopted" while guests were on retreat. It would include a gallery where the art work of children from the community would hang on the walls. It would include a studio where creative types could spend some time creating, (painters would need to bring their own supplies but I'd provide the easel). It would include a worship space called The Chapel of Mary and Martha. Guest rooms would have comfortable, upholstered chairs, and quilts on the bed. And good reading lamps. There would be a library with an amazing collection of books both spiritual/theological and otherwise. It would have a spacious common room with lots of windows, a fireplace, tall ceilings and comfy chairs. A view would be great.
Now if only I had some money I'd make this happen!