Wednesday, January 30, 2008

a day in the life

like i was saying, not long ago one of my high school friends found me. (actually 2 have found me but that's another story). he was a year ahead of me and one of my dearest friends. we were a part of the popular crowd only because we really liked one another and could care less what other people thought. honestly, my high school had lots of clicks, but no real popular crowd and i was lucky to be able to hang out with other groups of people.

i grew up in philly and philly is all about the neighborhoods, which when i was in high school were still pretty ethnic. each group had their own space at the school. for example, if i remember correctly, the east lawn was where the south philly italians hung out and the south lawn was where the punks hung out. (but it was a long time ago and i could be remembering the lawns wrong).

i do know that i spent a lot of time on both lawns and in other areas of the school and i don't ever remember there being territorial debates about who was welcome where.

but back to my point... in our emails back and forth to reacquaint ourselves he asked me what a pastor does and i have been trying to find time to actually sit down and explain my job. it occured to me that perhaps i had already done that since at the end of every year and the start of a new one i have to write an annual report that includes all the stuff i did over the last year. here's an edited version with the edits in italics.

there are three pieces to the pastor pie: congregational, synodical (a geographical area of churches headed by a bishop), and community (while this is typically the area around the church it can also be national or international.)

I served on all committees of the church including the Church Council and Childcare board; taught adult forum and confirmation classes, preached, presided, and planned all worship or provided supplies; visited the sick, shut-ins, and other members; performed 3 weddings (1 of non-members); supervised all lay staff (secreatry and the staff of the childcare); held office hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (Thursdays in 2008 will be used for visitation days); managed the insurance for the flooding at the rental house; Attended Borough Board meetings in regards to the rental house (a house the church owns, once rented, and now is trying to sell); trained in Kids, Money, and Stuff (a stewardship program for children and youth) for continuing education; organized the booth for and attended the Harvest Moon Festival; and designed and maintained the new website for the church. (i also do funerals, but while may people died in 2007, none of them were from my congregation.)

I participated in the Ecumenical Ministerium (the other churches in town) by attending meetings, preaching at the Thanksgiving and Good Friday Services and speaking at the Virginia Tech Memorial Service; I led worship services at 5 different nursing homes and or rehabilitation centers; Represented the church and childcare at the Duck Race Dinner, gave the invocation at the Memorial Day Parade (I even marched in it) and at an Eagle Scout Ceremony; submitted a sermon for Voices (a local community paper); walked during the Crop Walk (a walk to raise money for hunger), and maintained our relationship with the other lutheran church in town through the Gardener Cooperative with joint services for an Animal Blessing and Ash Wednesday as well as a week of VBS.

I attended weekly pericope studies (the bible readings for sunday) with other area pastors to prepare for preaching, attended meetings of our Conference, served on the Synod Worship Team, attended Synod Assembly where I assisted with worship; and attended 1 ordination and two installations of area pastors.

so there is just a taste of what i do. of course each and every day is different. today i have to work on the service for ash wednesday which means putting together the bulletin and beginning to prepare to write a sermon (sermon preparation/writing takes a minimum of 8 hours each week, but usually no more than 10). and i have a huge load of filling i'd like to get done when i go over to the office.

guess i'd better get to work.

God's peace y'all


CrackerLilo said...

I don't think of a pastor having to account for their time and write part of their "performance review," but it makes a lot of sense. This really did give me insight into what-all you do!

Gene said...


I thought my LAST job was busy. Now it just seems so unimportant. Its sounds like you get to do SOO many GREAT things to help so many people.
It makes me think I should to try and do more to help others. You know we all talk about doing it but some how never get around to doing it. But not you. You are doing what we all talk about doing!!

Keep it up you are Great!!!!


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