I did indeed take a vacation - but oh my, where did it go? It was a busy vacation even though it was great!! But, we came home on October 3rd, and it's now the 14th and this is the first chance I have to sit down and write in the blog. Something is definitely wrong with that! One of the main things I feel I need to focus on as I go forward in this interim is balance. I put in many hours in these first six months, and now my goal is to back out of things a little and let the lay ministry fill the gaps. There are so many gifted individuals in this congregation, and it's time for them to step up a little. The more I can let go and back off, the more able they are to see their own capability. We're heading into stewardship this next month, and the committee that has been selected for that is doing such a great job - I am more a consultant to them than a committee member. That's really how church ministry should be. Pastors, in my opinion, spend far too much time in meetings! One of the areas I hope to spend more time is visiting folks in their homes - especially those who don't get to church regularly. It's difficult when I am the only pastor in such a large congregation, but I think pastors need to spend time with the folks who aren't the most obvious. One of the struggles I have with ministry is that as a pastor I want to preach, teach and provide pastoral care. In reality, I spend most of my time in meetings, and in administration of the church. This congregation is taking a good look at what tasks need to be done, and the committee looking at this will make recommendations for future staffing. It's an interesting process and I think a really good one that hopefully will provide some direction for this congregation. I am supposed to have my job description read and revamped by tomorrow so I guess I'd better get to it! Besides that, I don't have my sermon fully thought through. I don't write out sermons any longer, but I do feel I need to think them through completely. It's a challenging and yet growth producing process.