Rostered Ministers who are parenting in a pandemic
by Kathye Hamm
The past few months of living through COVID-19 have been challenging for many reasons. We are learning how to be “church together” in new and vital ways. Taking advantage of technology and blessed by the encouragement of the Spirit, we often find ourselves saying, “Did you ever think we would be doing (fill in the blank) online or in this way?” But it’s not just in the work of the church we are figuring this out.
In regular phone calls and Zoom conversations with our kids and grandkids, Debbi and I are hearing about their challenges of working from home, parenting their children, being homebound together, and finding time for teaching their children while schools are closed. I honestly don’t know how they do it, but they are making it work. Yet not without some cost. They are tired, and are daunted by the prospect that when summer is over, they will need to add home schooling back into the mix of their lives. I’m sure you have heard from family members and friends, or are living yourself, a similar story.
In the Office of the Bishop, we have been hearing from some of our Rostered Ministers that they are facing these same challenges while they are figuring out how to serve in ministry in this time of pandemic. It’s something few people were prepared to take on a few months ago, and now has become the “norm” for many families. I’m sure the pastors and deacons we’ve heard from are not alone. In that spirit, we are inviting all Rostered Ministers in our synod who are parenting in a time of pandemic to join together for a Zoom conversation. We will come together to offer “mutual support and consolation” as well as encouragement for this time, and the time ahead, as schools will likely be closed to in-person learning at the beginning of the school year.
When: Aug 6, 2020 — 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time. You will need to register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
While we know many people in our congregations and ministries are living with the challenge of parenting in a pandemic, this will be a conversation for Rostered Ministers (pastors and deacons) only. It is our hope that learnings from this conversation will make their way into more conversations with those in our congregations and communities who are also parenting and teaching and sheltering at home. It may well be that congregations and ministries have already created/provided resources, Zoom conversations, shared learnings, and other means of support for families and extended families that are seeking to live into this time as fully and faithfully as possible. If you have something to share, please consider asking to have it posted on our Synod’s COVID-19 Resource Page by sending an email to: email@example.com.
In the meantime, please continue to hold your pastor or deacon in prayer as they seek to be faithful in their callings as pastor and as parent. I encourage all of our congregational leaders to be in conversation with their pastoral leaders about how we can move forward in ministry together in this time of learning and serving in new ways. Thank you.
Blessings and Peace,
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