Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:26-30 MSG)
As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer. (Luke 5:16 MSG)
We’re delighted to host David Olsen from Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capitol Region to facilitate Boundary Training this Thursday and Friday at the presbytery office. This is the second year we’ve invited David to lead this professional development course and I just can’t say enough how insightful and helpful it was for me. I hope you can join us.
Which has got me thinking about self-care in general, but particularly as we enter into the Advent season. At a time when many in our congregations are decorating their homes, shopping for gifts, baking goodies, and enjoying Christmas-related activities, many of our pastors and church leaders are overwhelmed with worship planning, community needs, pastoral emergencies, and facility support. Layer on all this personal and family commitments, you can see how exhausting and overextended you can become.
This is probably the best time to consider how you are caring for yourself. Are you making time for your own quiet prayer or meditative practices? Are you sleeping enough? Eating balanced meals? Do you have time for activities – large and small – that are life giving? Are you having any fun?
When was the last time you went on a retreat? Or just carved out a few hours of “me” time?
We know that we can be more fully present to our congregations when we can be more fully ourselves, authentic, and healthy.
In this first Sunday of Advent, I invite you to give yourself a gift. The gift of caring for yourself. Not only will you feel better; it’s a worthy investment.
In grace and hope,
Rev. Eliana Maxim
Associate Executive Presbyter