“Jesus withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself…” Matthew 14:13

If one does not take a Sabbath then there is a problem. We are doing too much; we are too often striving to be in charge. Instead, we need to be still, to rest and discover what God is really doing for us and in the world. Rev. Dr. Eugene Peterson

Geese in FormationGeese are amazing creatures and one of the most impressive acts of teamwork occurs when they migrate. Scientists have studied their patterns and found that while flying in their characteristic V pattern, geese can fly 70% farther with the same amount of expended energy because in the formation, the lift for each goose is increased and resistance drops dramatically. And, of course, the lead goose is the one breaking the resistance, bearing the burden of creating the path and expending the most energy. Eventually the lead goose falls farther back into the formation and begins to rest as it rides the draft created by the formation that carries it toward their destination.

Leadership is never easy; balancing many different ideas and opinions about God and Church is exhausting. Sharing in the lives and challenges of 250 plus souls is rewarding and yet also terribly draining. The pastoral role covers a tremendous amount of territory; we are teachers, social workers, chaplains, administrators, artists, and counselors just to name a few. There comes a time when we as pastors have to pause and reset in order to avoid losing health, perspective and vision. Like the goose that needs to slide farther back into the formation, we break from the lead and take time to rest and Sabbath in order to see God and church more clearly.

July will find me on the road. Anne and I are going to share some time together on a much needed vacation as we focus on our togetherness which gets placed on the back burner as we both serve SHUMC. Then I will spend the rest of the month on renewal leave, praying and centering with quiet time and some travel with a dear clergy friend of mine in Washington.

Rev. Buddy, Rev. Carolyn and our Lay Speaker, Pat Headley will capably fill the pulpit.
They will also be available for any special circumstances that may arise and to ensure
pastoral needs are met. The Praise Band will also be taking a month off and both our
worship settings will be more traditional in style. I will be back August 1. The Praise Band will also pick up the music then and we will prepare for fall.

Fall will bring some wonderful experiences for us; new faces, new studies, and new
ministries in the midst of the wonderful ministry we have already accomplished! So
pray with me during July for hands to serve, for hearts ready to love and a future that
the Lord will guide!

See you in worship!
Rev. Michael


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