Can it be that summer is coming to an end already - September 1st is right around the corner and autumn begins Sept. 22nd. This year summer has literally flown by and it has been busier than ever. As a busy pastor I always feel that when summer comes it should slow down because many activities are suspended for the summer. But then again, there are many activities that happen only during the summer. I think it's time to stop deluding myself - this life is a busy, relentless one and if I am going to have time for myself I have to MAKE it! Thus, the focus on conscious self-care. I haven't done well with that this summer and I am recommitting myself to focus on my spiritual needs and intend to find ways to nurture my spiritual self apart from my job. Intention is the key - and then finding some things that nurture me away from the community of faith I serve. Maybe it will get easier because we are finally getting a second pastor on board - our Pastor of Youth and Family ministry begins at the end of September and I am so excited! He's a young man, fairly newly married, and has charisma and sound Lutheran theological grounding. His wife is a teacher and has just begun her job in the nearby school district so they are in the "in between" of leaving one call and beginning another. Both of them are excited about the posibilities here and look forward to establishing themselves in this community. I like them both and look forward to building a strong pastoral team focused on the mission of the gospel. I'm also looking forward to preaching only half the Sundays of the year! I'm thinking also that a vacation in October is in order - time to get away and just relax; read some good novels, take long walks, have great meals with my hubby and spend time just talking and sharing life without all the distractions of the parish. Life is good! I'm enjoying my call and now will enjoy it even more fully with a partner to share ministry with. As this new season change comes it's really a metaphor for my congregation - we are now out of interim and heading into a new season for this church. I pray our leadership is effective and the presence of the Holy Spirit will guide and direct this church toward the fulfillment of the mission of the gospel.