Right now, we’re all experiencing the stress and anxiety of this difficult time. From the pandemic, civil unrest, election and different kinds and levels of grief, we’re all burned out.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented levels of care. And that extends to caring for our pastors.
While our pastors have been learning the ins and out of digital worship alongside us, they’ve been trying to figure out how to provide pastoral care when not in-person. They’ve been balancing the increased demands on their time as professional caretakers for the church family and as caretakers for their own family.
In addition to extending extra grace to your pastor during these hard times, here are some ideas for how to show appreciation to your pastor.
If your congregation doesn’t have a tradition of a Pastor Appreciation Sunday or Pastor Appreciation Month, this is a great time to start! October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and October 11 is Pastor Appreciation Sunday.
As a Board or Council, give your pastor (or pastors) an extra Sunday off. If you can’t afford pulpit supply, there are many UCC-created options that your church is welcome to broadcast at no cost.
Give a Gift:
Give your pastor a gift. If you want to purchase a UCC-related gift, head over to UCC Resources for an excellent selection of gifts for your pastor. If you know what your pastor enjoys in their free time (or know who to ask about that), find a present or gift card to help them do something they enjoy.
Continue Support All Year:
Consider what long-term support looks like for your church. One of the ways churches are caring for their pastors year-round is Pastoral Relations Committees. Learn more about these committees and how to implement one with your congregation. Engage with this webinar to help you begin: Supporting Your Pastor So They Can Support You
There are many ways that we, the congregation, can return care to our hardworking pastors. How will you show your appreciation for your pastor?
The Rev. Elizabeth Dilley is the Minister and Team Leader of the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization (MESA) Ministry Team, Justice and Local Church Ministries.