Hopes for the Year

I start a new year like a runner lacing up her squeaky new shoes for a test-run around the block. Don’t put too much pressure on the idea of an immediate transformation; I know I won’t be marathon ready yet. But perhaps this fresh start - this sense of unknown, uncharted territory - can be a major player in the ongoing journey of becoming fully me. Six years ago, a week before Christmas, I stood on what seemed like the starting line: the steps of University Christian Church in Fort... Read More

Resting Pastor Face

These last few weeks we've heard from various guest writers as they reflect on their own sense of pastoral/vocational identity. We asked these writers to share their thoughts believing that an essential piece of overall health and well-being for clergy is a sense of self that extends “beyond the pulpit”, but that also embraces the realities of their calling to ministry. We’re grateful for the thoughts of these fine pastors and welcome your engagement with them in conversation. This... Read More

MLCI Series: Reflections on Pastoral Identity

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be hearing from various guest writers as they reflect on their own sense of pastoral/vocational identity. We’ve asked these writers to share their thoughts believing that an essential piece of overall health and well-being for clergy is a sense of self that extends “beyond the pulpit”, but that also embraces the realities of their calling to ministry. We’re grateful for the thoughts of these fine pastors and welcome your engagement with them in... Read More

MLCI Series: Pastoral Identity

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be hearing from various guest writers as they reflect on their own sense of pastoral/vocational identity. We’ve asked these writers to share their thoughts believing that an essential piece of overall health and well-being for clergy is a sense of self that extends “beyond the pulpit”, but that also embraces the realities of their calling to ministry. We’re grateful for the thoughts of these fine pastors and welcome your engagement with them in... Read More

MLCI Blog: Reflecting on Pastoral Identity

Over the next several weeks, we'll be hearing from various guest writers as they reflect on their own sense of pastoral/vocational identity. We've asked these writers to share their thoughts believing that an essential piece of overall health and well-being for clergy is a sense of self that extends "beyond the pulpit", but that also embraces the realities of their calling to ministry. We're grateful for the thoughts of these fine pastors and welcome your engagement with them in... Read More

Clergy Health–What Matters Most?

The General Board for Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church lists thirteen key factors that influence clergy health and well-being. Those factors are (parenthetical comments added by MLCI blogger): Job satisfaction Relationship with congregation Work/life balance Living authentically Personal centeredness Marital and family satisfaction Stressors of the appointment process (for non-UMC denominations this would refer to "Search and Call" or whatever process... Read More

Ministry as Running/Running as Ministry

I’m a runner. It seemed as if I started one afternoon on a relatively blank and open road and the new story of my life and ministry began to fill in along the way. Just before taking my first steps into life as a seminarian, I was given advice to make self-care a priority.  Thankfully, I had begun that practice without knowing it would be a significant part of what sustained me and gave me the strength to face the challenges that came along the way. Being a first year seminarian was... Read More

The Balancing Act of Ministry

by Rev. Laurie Metzko, LTS Class of 2014 When I think of what challenges I might experience as my life as a minister grows and changes, I suspect they won't be much different than the things I'm already experiencing – maintaining clear boundaries, finding “me-time," and being able to say “no” when needed. To date I have been a part-time minister working at balancing ministry along with my full-time secular job as a bookkeeper, my life as a wife and a mom of two grown sons, and... Read More

Caring for Vocation and Self

By Rev. Kyle McDougall, Resident Minister, Central Christian Church, Lexington, Ky. As a young clergy person in transition to my next call, I’m excited and a little bit scared. Moving to a new town where my husband and I know no one is pretty stressful. In a situation like this, I assume that it will be easy to let the work of the church take up most of my time. But, entering into this new call I want to set healthy boundaries so that I continue to love my vocation while also taking care... Read More

Healthy Clergy/Healthy Churches: Finding a Balance

Brian and his wife, Rev. Carrie Gerard by Brian Gerard, Senior Minister, First Christian Church of Louisville My first full-time call as a local church pastor was almost my last. Within one week of my arrival I was called a racially charged epithet during a meeting.  Certain that I had said something to provoke the event, the elders of the church asked that I apologize to the one who said it. To be sure I handled the conversation appropriately, the chair of the elders accompanied... Read More