17 July 2008

The Diverse Joys

of being a pastor. Every time I ponder it, I can only thank God for the unspeakable privilege of serving in this ministry:

Up and out early this a.m. to pray with Glenn and Thelma before Glenn's surgery; back home to pray daily office and read BOC; out to do chapel at daycare on how Jesus healed the woman with the flow of blood - kids were VERY good as they listened to the Bible story and even Crystal behaved most of the time; communion visit to Roy and Clara and getting to hear about the visit of an angel to Clara in her recent stay in the home - God's servants are everywhere! - and Roy showed me the $2 bill he got in change on his first date with Clara back in 1946 and which he's kept ever since; printed out Bible Study on Hebrews 7 and got it to Joanie to run off.

Still to come: a sermon still needs doing; and then Vespers and we'll call the day a wrap, God willing.


Ryan said...

I love reading the adventures and joys of your day, I too have many the same joys.

If you will, I would love to hear how you organize your time... this has been a huge struggle for me as a new pastor. Specifically how your work out your reading schedule for the Lutheran and Patristic stuff and the prayer offices, and sermon prep... besides the regular duties of bible study and hospital visits and all the rest.

William Weedon said...


On organizing the day and week. First thing I try to do on Saturday evening or Sunday is to make a list of what needs doing the coming week and then to distribute it reasonably over the days. I don't always stick this schedule but it is very helpful.

In general, the only fixed daily stuff is to pray Matins and do the BOC reading before doing other stuff (sometimes, like today, not practical, so it came later); and Vespers to close off the work day (except for evening meetings). In general, I try to do visits in the afternoon, but some days (like today), it worked out better in the morning. Morning I try to reserve for study.

I don't really follow a reading schedule for theology, but just pick up and read whatever interests me at the moment. As you've probably noted lately I've been on a Krauth kick of sorts. I've read it, but I'm not sure I've ingested it the way I wish, so I'm going over it again.

On the Fathers, I have certain writings I read over and over again, and others that I just read through as the itch takes me - I find I enjoy their sermons almost more than any other kind of writing.

On Luther, I try to read the sermon from the House Postil for each week (sometimes two if we have them). I don't find the Church Postil nearly so helpful. I try especially to focus on what doesn't seem to fit with my native way of thinking - and I find almost invariably those are points where Luther is thinking with the Church Fathers and in a way that challenges my modernist assumptions.

Bible Studies I usually write on Wednesday for Wednesday evening; and on Thursday for Sunday. Sermons start being "written" when I read the texts over, usually by Sunday evening of the week prior. And then I try to read them frequently throughout the week, study them, and let the thoughts perk. Often those readings will form the basis of devotions I give during visits or the chapels (at school or daycare).

Hope that's the kind of info you were asking about! Another thing: if I know that I am going to be booked through an evening, and I can pull it off at all, I have no compunction about taking time off in the afternoon and doing something that I think is fun - like reading theology or enjoying the swimming pool for an hour!

Ryan said...

Thanks, that was what I was wondering about. I keep tweaking hopefully so I may keep the prayer offices and keep up on my reading with the other regular task... indeed joys of the ministry.

I also do the flexible schedule thing, especially when the evenings fill up... I have never felt guilty spending time with my wife and two year old daughter, it breaks ones heart when my little girl says, "Daddy, don't go".