It was a difficult day today. I didn’t realize when I got out of bed this morning that life was about to get ever so much more complicated again. I just made it through a summer of overwhelming stress and thought, as a family, we had managed it pretty well. Children were happily married, grandchild was born in April and another is due in November. Things at work are going well, although it’s very busy.
I had begun to contemplate tackling some other things that have been put too long on the back burner. For instance, my own professional development and dealing with a weight loss and exercise plan to take off those stress pounds I’ve gained in the past year. I wasn’t anticipating a more complicating factor to land this morning.
As we sat in church services this morning, I was thinking about a lot of things. In truth, my mind had wandered in the direction of other thoughts such as creating a checklist for making sure certain things were done in the right combination with our sound system in order to avoid loud screeching feedback. I was thinking about how nice it was to have two baptisms this morning and what a wonderful way it was to start a service. I wasn’t thinking about what came next. As our pastor was delivering his sermon, he told us he was resigning from his position following next Sunday. No one knew it was coming. It was a complete and total surprise.
So, how did this complicate my life? For one of 4 church deacons in a small church, it is a big deal when you’re without a pastor. We don’t have an assistant pastor who can step in. We don’t have a large church membership with lots and lots of active members who can take over tasks like visitation and missions work. We have a large number of elderly folks in our congregation for whom we need to be attentive and provide a great deal of support. We have a fledgling youth program. We had lots of plans.
So, what next? Item number one: pray. Pray for our pastor because he’s leaving us for reasons concerning health and because he is spread too thin. Pray for our congregation that they will all focus on the work in front of us and band together to continue the work of our church. Pray for our church leaders that they will have the wisdom and the energy to handle what lies ahead.