Diary of Mission Pastor

A number of people have asked me lately, "What exactly do you do with your time?" "Um, sooooo...is there enough for you to do?" "So, part time. How does that work?" (short answer: it doesn't). Here is a one week slice of life...  

Monday Monday isn't normally a work day. Except for twice a month when we have bar gatherings in the evenings. So, I guess it's a work day half of the time. I spend a bit of time talking about tonight's Theology Pub with Nate (who has agreed to lead it so that I can stay home and parent). A bit of emailing and answering texts and messages related to Theology Pub. I take a phone call related to work because it's a rare day when this pastor and I are both free and able to talk. It's support and talking shop and sharing ideas and laughing. An hour later, I realize the day is fading. After the kids are in bed, I spend a couple hours trying to figure out a computer thing for work (yes, that's the technical term) that has been bugging me for months. I am calm. I practice patience. In the the end, I hoped to feel triumphant...instead annoyed that I had wasted a free night battling the forces of evil.


Tuesday Right out of the gates this morning, I did a bit of text study for Sunday. Talked over Sunday's service with Justin (who is filling in for Michael who is on tour this weekend). Also did some long-term brainstorming with Justin about future projects and grant writing to support them. Wrote my annual mission developers report and emailed it off to my director (great big sigh and feeling of satisfaction). Returned a good amount of messages. Realize I am way behind in answering emails. Called it a day.


Wednesday Began the day at Mickey's Diner with my 6AM crew. This is a small group who meet every other week to share lives, joy, pain, growth around fried eggs and toast. We read the Gospel for the coming week and share prayers. Then home to get kids to school, a quick lap swim and to Claddagh Coffee for text study with a group of pastors. We meet every week around the big table in the lower level. Today, I scheduled a back-to-back meeting upstairs following text study. I'm shaky with caffeine coursing through my veins and high on good people. Watch out, 10:30AM appointment. Turns out to be an excellent connection with a representative from another congregation who want to partner with us. We make a 1000 connections. There is much listening. Much talking. Many ideas on paper. And suddenly, it is well-over two hours later and time to go home. I answer a number of emails and the day has come to an end.


Thursday I run over to Saint Anthony Park to greet our new sem student over breakfast. There is much talking and listening. All of a sudden, it's time to move down the block to meet with our other sem student. By the time I get home, it's nearly time to pick up the kids from school. I look over my to-do list and realize I end the work day/week with many of my urgent starred items undone. As my director says, “People over paper.” Which is a comfort considering I am always, always behind on the paper. (If you have met my people—you will understand why. They are good folks to hang out with while you are forget paperwork even exists.)


Friday Not feeling well, I spend the day on the couch. A first in years, I think.


Saturday Not a work day, but it keeps sneaking into my thoughts. Ideas come when I am on the treadmill. And I fire off some emails about summer plans and grants while I stretch post-run. (Not so zen, I know). I answer questions regarding our upcoming retreat at Bay Lake. I pick up communion wine for Sunday. I try not to worry that my sermon isn't written yet.


Sunday I get up early to work on my sermon before Nate leaves for his morning gig and before the girls get up. Then when Nate gets home at noon, I pass him the parenting baton and finish my sermon prep. I print off the music for worship, pack up my truck with things we need for worship, and run to Kinko's to copy bulletins. Then it's off to the worship space to get set up. This means hauling in odds and ends from my truck, unlocking the space, turning up the heat, three or four trips up and down from the basement, setting up the altar. Worship happens. Today, I am deeply grateful for the person who sticks around through the very end of cleanup. Depending on the week, this last bit of clean up can take 5-30 minutes. I drive home exhausted, but grateful.