On a recent Saturday afternoon, I was away from home and decided to have lunch at a chain restaurant that I enjoy and do not have easy access to when I am at home. As I sat to eat the familiar flavors, I was not prepared for the many memories that accompanied this meal. Although I had never visited this location of this restaurant chain before the memories made it feel like I was a frequent guest here. It was at another of these restaurants where I was introduced to a friend’s friend who would go on to become her spouse. This restaurant chain hosted us many times after church as my husband and I had a few minutes of conversation before I went back to work and he went home to enjoy the rest of his weekend. This was where we would often eat with a dear friend who now lives too many hours away.
Each month many faith communities publish a newsletter. All the important dates and details about what is happening will be shared in those pages. Plus, the church staff is asked to write a short article each month. This is what I wrote for St. Giles Presbyterian Church in March 2011. As I reread it recently, I liked the idea of considering what hats we wear. I encourage you to think about all the hats you wear during the week and how many different roles you have in your daily life.
This month I promised to tell you what a DCE or pastor does the rest of the week. You know about much of the Sunday stuff because that is when you see us. If I asked you to describe what you do or how you spend your week, it may take you awhile to name a portion of what occupies your work week or weekday hours. I’ll spare you a long list and instead share some hats I wear that explain how this DCE fills her work week.
Confidant-No matter your age, sometimes you just need someone to listen.
Teacher-I love leading Bible studies, book discussions, and teaching the children and youth. Sharing faith and faith stories is a fun hat to wear.
Student-I will always see myself as someone who can learn more and more. Through conferences, books and magazines, and conversations with colleagues, I am constantly reminded how much there is to learn.
Motivator-Our faith journeys aren’t easy roads. We need people to journey with us and motivate us to keep going when it is difficult.
Planner-Lots of events, activities, and things happen here at St. Giles. For each hour of something you see, hours of planning, preparation, emails etc. go into it. Plus, planning lists, coordination with ministry teams, and putting it all on the church calendar.
Supporter-Where can I help someone with what he or she is doing or suggest someone else who wants to help? Part of my role as supporter is helping people see where the needs of the church work with their gifts and then supporting them as they share their gifts!
Cheerleader-Woohoo children, youth, and adults! Way to go on sharing God’s love in so many ways.
I hope this glance at the hat rack of this DCE answers the what does a DCE do all week question!
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
And what does this look like in today’s world? We must ask for forgiveness for what we have done wrong and seek justice for all! We must listen to the stories of our kindred and seek justice for all! We must speak out against violence to any of our kindred and seek justice for all! We must work toward a day when all have enough food, equal opportunities, safety and security. And we look forward to the day we can say-How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
Words in italics are Psalm 133:1 from the New Revised Standard Version.
The Sound of Silence
Recently, I was sick. Sore throat, fever, headache, coughing. It was terrible. I had no energy. I was not hungry. And possibly the worst part, I could not talk for three days. No talking. No whispering. I communicated with my husband using hand gestures and texting. As I was not talking, I was thinking. Here are some things I learned-
I would not enjoy a week-long silent retreat!
I enjoy the sound of my own voice.
I enjoy communicating with others.
“But God definitely listened. God heard the sound of my prayer.” –Psalm 66:19
God, you hear my prayers whether I say them out loud or hold them in my heart. You know me when I feel well and when I feel terrible. And through all my days, you love me and I am thankful for your love. I pray for all those who are feeling unwell today. Ease their pain. Grant them rest. Blanket them with your love. In your healing and holy name, we pray. Amen.