My dear Grace UCC family,
What a year this has been… one filled with grace and love, one filled with compassion and wonder, one filled with faith and growth, one filled with God. I was called by God many years ago to ordained ministry, as Pastor and Teacher. For a while I didn’t listen to God’s call on my life, I didn’t want to. I wanted to do something else, be something else, live something else. But God is a persistent God and so I entered seminary to study and learn, to follow what God was pushing me to do. And for the last 28 years that is what I have been doing, being pastor and teacher to the best of my ability.
What are you doing to the best of your ability? Are you listening?
There are many parts of being a pastor that this past year I have tried to live by.
The Pastor as Priest….
When the community gathers together every week it is on Sunday during worship. The priestly role of the pastor is to write and lead the liturgy for the people. The priest baptizes, preaches, forgives, blesses, prays, leads worship for the gathered family. It is the one time when all gather together to share the Word of God.
The Pastor as Prophet….
The prophet in early days as well as today is a speaker for God. In the early days, they said things that God has told them but were not very popular at times because what they said would cause change, and that was hard. When I follow my calling as Prophet I am often not very popular because it involves change in our lives. But If I am going to be true to my call, I must be a prophet as well.
The Pastor as Teacher…
Probably one of the most active and time consuming part of being an ordained minister is the teacher aspect of it. Every opportunity I get I should be teaching about discipleship, God’s love, faith. This happens in many ways, just look at Jesus. He taught continually, in order to share God’s word with all. And teaching happens in many ways, from time on the steps with the youngest, to a visit with an older member, wherever my day leads me.
The Pastor as Counselor…
In the world in which we live, we have problems or just need someone to talk to, I hear many stories of your lives, because when we share it with another it isn’t nearly so hard to deal with, someone has listened.
There are many aspects of being an ordained pastor and teacher. This year I am going work on listening better, communicating better, caring deeper, loving as God does, and teaching without ceasing.
Thank you for the care of my family and of me, as we continue to work together at Grace United Church of Christ…