“Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/ state/country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
ask for eyes that are free from blindness so that we might see each other as
brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are
victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.
ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.
ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will
bring us closer to your Kingdom.
pray for discernment so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word, live
your love, and keep in the ways of your truth as they follow in the steps of
Jesus and his Apostles, and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.
ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy
~ Prayer published in Church of the Ascension, Overland Park, Kansas, Bulletin, October 30, 2016.
I echo, Amen.
Being reminded yesterday that this is Pastor Appreciation Month took me on a trip down memory lane. As I look back on experiences at the churches my husband pastored, I remember the unique personality of each church and the ways in which they expressed appreciation for their pastor and family.
A church Hubby pastored in Missouri was my favorite. Maybe this is because I love roses. Pastor appreciation there was year-round. We received gifts, cards, and roses (for me) on many occasions including the Sunday closest to our birthdays, our wedding anniversary, the anniversary of the date we arrived at the church, and during Pastor Appreciation Month. Each year at the Christmas dinner we were honored, along with a home mission church pastor and family they had chosen. Interestingly, they recognized the births of grandchildren with cards congratulating us (like we did anything). During the nine years we were there we felt special and loved.
Remembering these churches also brought to mind the process of interviewing for positions and how that evolved over the years. When we were young, Hubby would interview alone. Sometimes a picture of the family would be requested at some point during the interview. (Too bad Photoshop did not exist then.) For the last interview he had, the church provided us both with airfare for the 750-mile trip. That evening, Hubby’s board interview was followed by an all-church reception. There were yummy treats (a good enticement to go there) and then a meeting was called and everyone had an opportunity to ask questions. What they were most interested in was our family. I knew then that they were my kind of people.
While we were living in Michigan, a minister’s wife on our district told at a retreat about the most stressful church board interview she and her husband endured. During the interview, an older gentleman asked her if she was in full support of her husband’s ministry. Of course, she was. Then he said, “It looks to me like you pluck your eyebrows. Do you?” Not easily intimidated, she looked straight into his eyes and responded, “Yes, I do and I shave my legs, too. Would you like to see?” They did not go to that church.
Now, back to appreciation. What pastors really appreciate is the warm smile, the word of encouragement, the acceptance, and the prayers.
PASTORS IN THE PULPIT THEN AND NOW
A While Ago
Seems Just Yesterday
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