Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Calm Before the Storm

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) begins meeting next week! There will be lots of important topics to blog about during that meeting. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to tackle a light-hearted topic for a few days. The topic… taking a day off.

What day do you take off? Why?

If you are a pastor, are you supposed to have one or two days off each week? Which day or days?

Be honest, how many of you worked on your last day off?

Why do you work on your day off?

What do you do for relaxation on your day off? Why?

Here are my answers:

Friday is my normal day off. During my seminary years a pastor spoke to our groups of Presbyterian-wanna-be pastors. He told us to NEVER take Monday off. He said that taking Monday off forces you to be a day behind when you get to work on Tuesday.

I am a pastor. I am supposed to have one, maybe two days off each week. Since starting a Saturday night worship service I end up working at least 6+ hours each Saturday.

I will be honest (even though I know at least two of the elders of my church follow the bog) and say that I worked almost five hours on my last “day off.” Most weeks I work two or three hours on my “day off.”

The amount that I work on my day off is directly related to whether the church has people in the hospital or if there has been a death in the church’s extended family. The past two years have been brutal in terms of deaths. In just the past few months I had a 21 consecutive day streak at being at the hospital. Our church is in a rural part of the county. There are numerous hospitals in Tacoma and Puyallup. A round trip to the hospital, plus visit time, can take 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Today I am breaking my streak of seven consecutive days of visiting a hospital! I worked last Friday and I will end up working some on this Friday. I do not see a break any time soon.

Sailing is my means of relaxation. No, I can’t afford a sailboat! I belong to a sailing club in Seattle that gives me access to about 25 boats ranging is size for 25’ to 42’. The cell phone is stowed down in the cabin (I wouldn’t want it to fall overboard!). The docking lines (there are no “ropes” on a boat) are stowed. The anticipation of the journey as you motor out of the marina. I love watching the sea lions as they sun themselves on the mid-channel buoy. The only schedule I have is to be back at the dock before the club closes for the day. In case you were wondering, everyone one board wears a PFD the whole trip (unless we are sailing in the British Virgin Islands or on our upcoming Tonga trip). I haven’t sailed much in the past year.


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