Pastors and church leaders, undoubtedly this is one of the strangest Decembers you have ever experienced. Amid many other expressions of upheaval, your normal and beloved rhythms of ministry during this Advent season have likely been disrupted and changed, leaving you and others disappointed and discouraged. Tensions and discord may still be running high in your congregation, overshadowing what is otherwise a joyful and hope-filled season.

We encourage you to reach out to our district staff if you need a word of encouragement or perspective or coaching. We don’t have all the answers, but we can stand with you and prayerfully seek our Lord’s wisdom together. We are here to serve you.

We also encourage you to look ahead to January or February and plan now to take some much needed time off early in the new year. This hard year of 2020 has taken a toll on all of us.  A new normal of reasonable stability is not expected in the foreseeable future. We will be laboring under difficult conditions for a while.  Please be proactive in your stewardship of the health of your own body, soul, and family.  Your own faith, hope, and love is a foundation of your ministry to others. Build into your early 2021 calendar the space needed–the time off–for the Lord and trusted friends to nurture your vitality.

May the Lord make this unusual Advent season instrumental in bringing blessing to us and, through us, to others.