Time For a Tune-up!

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Church Pension GroupAs I write this, I am 34,000 feet in the sky, headed to Prescott, Arizona for a Credo Conference. Credo is part of the Episcopal Church Pension Group, and exists to help promote clergy wellness. After all, if I am not healthy –physically, spiritually, emotionally, vocationally, and financially – how can I foster good health in our parish? So as I work on my own health this week (and beyond), I hope that my own health “check-up” will inspire good health in you as individuals and us as a parish.

I believe our health as individuals and our health as a parish are deeply connected. Healthy individuals lead to healthy parish life. And again, I am not only speaking of physical health. If only a few of us are regularly working on our spiritual health through daily scripture reading, prayer, and practice, how can we expect to be a spiritually mature parish? And if many of us don’t have our financial house in order, how can we as a church expect to be financially healthy in a way that can be a blessing to others? If we as individuals are not emotionally healthy, how can we as a parish an emotionally healthy place to worship, learn, and serve?

You might notice that in the Holy Eucharist service, the celebrating priest and chalice bearers distribute the elements to the congregation only after they have received the elements themselves. Some have critiqued this practice because they think that it doesn’t embody good hospitality. After all, any polite host serves their guests before they serve themselves. But I believe that reason that the Book of Common Prayer dictates that the servers are to serve themselves first is because it models that principle that we can’t feed others if we don’t first feed ourselves. As I was sitting on the plane earlier, I was reminded of this principle when they went through the whole oxygen mask demonstration – take care of yourself first so you will be able to take care of your children!

I anticipate that my week at Credo will be simultaneously rewarding, humbling, gratifying, and challenging. My main hope and prayer is to be spiritually and vocationally renewed so that when I return to you I will be able to serve you from a place of good health.

Emily and I continue to love life here in Santa Rosa Beach as well as ministry here at Christ the King and the Tree House Episcopal Montessori School. So many of you have been a blessing to us in so many ways, and for that we are grateful. We can’t wait to raise our child in such a warm, loving church and community!

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