Pastor Appreciation Day - October 12, 2020

Pastor Appreciation Day - October 12, 2020

“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor,
especially those who labor in preaching and teaching“
1 Timothy 5:17  (NRSV)

Each year a day is named in October to appreciate pastors.  This year it may be particularly important to lift up this date.  It has been a hard year.  In a blog update about Covid and in-person worship as we move into the heating season we shared:  “As we move into the fall we are also moving into the 7th month of this pandemic.  It takes its toll on all of us with a particular impact on clergy and leadership who are not only trying to develop powerful worship, engaging community and meaningful social action, but are also standing in the middle of many different needs, health concerns, longing, feelings, questions, opinions and posturing.  It is the most difficult place to be.  Be gentle with each other.”

But I want to take it a step further.   We are hearing and seeing the impact of this stressful time for clergy.  Articles are sharing alarming observations and statistics and projections: This is a hard time for everyone as we continue to live with the effects of COVID-19 and the pandemic restrictions.  Fall is usually our time to get back into a familiar routine as life returns from summer vacations and outings. There are major holidays each month.  School starts up again.  Sports in crowded stadiums or community fields fill our weeks.  Church events from homecoming to rally day to fall fairs and advent activities shape our schedules.  

But none of that is the same this year.  We are planning virtual pageants and Zoom Thanksgivings.  At the same time the charged political climate spills into our daily news cycles and churches.  Clergy are often the bearers of all of our stories and the lightning rods of so many emotions and struggles.  They carry a heavy load. 

Our UCC Minister and President shared some beautiful words on YouTube here on Sept. 15: Thank you, UCC Clergy!
So this year, on October 12, do something special for your pastor.  Give them a night out with family and friends (even if its curbside).  Give them time for some extended sabbath renewal.  Send them words of encouragement and appreciation.  Offer them a helping hand.  Find out what they most need right now to revitalize their souls. 

“Pray we for the Clergy; that they may rightly divide, that they may rightly walk; that while they teach others, themselves may learn.”  ~Lancelot Andrewes


Don H. Remick

Don Remick is Bridge Conference Minister.

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