“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.
On it you shall not do any work…” (Exodus 20:8-10)
One of the hardest commandments for us to keep is #4, remember the sabbath. As you can imagine, this is especially hard for pastors. Sunday is the highlight of the week for many Christians, but it is anything but a day for rest for pastors. The pandemic has made worship even more challenging as clergy must write uplifting sermons that are preached to empty sanctuaries and/or uploaded to Facebook or You Tube. The standard terms of call for pastors in Blackhawk Presbytery offers 4 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks of study leave but few are taking any or all of that time. Our clergy are exhausted and in need of sabbath. Here are several ways your congregation can care for their pastors by offering time away from the pulpit.
- If you are worshiping solely on-line, one of the simplest things is to redirect the congregation to participate in the online worship of another congregation. Here is our compiled list of how our congregations are worshiping online (please note: the list may be somewhat out of date - send us your updates).
- If you prefer keeping worship within your community this a gentle reminder that all elders are authorized to preach, offer prayers, and lead worship (other than the sacraments). This is great opportunity to share personal witness and recognize that we believe in the priesthood of all believers.
- Those meeting in person may be able to find pulpit supply to preach while your pastor is away. Please note that not everyone on the pulpit supply list is comfortable going into a different worship space during the pandemic. We are working to update our pulpit supply list to include COVID preferences. More to come.
- Look for opportunities in the broader church. The presbytery offered a worship service on September 6 in which four churches participated. There is worship offered by the denomination (see a special service for Theological Education Sunday) and other bodies like the Synod of Mid-America's "4th Sunday Sermons".
If you have any questions on worship opportunities or have any suggestions on how the presbytery can help you provide sabbath for your pastor please contact Rev. Eric Heinekamp
, Transformational General Presbyter and Stated Clerk.