About a month ago I went to visit a woman who was very depressed. She's too young (and poor) to retire, and too old to easily find another job. Her workplace can only be described as toxic. We talked, and I gave her some suggestions about ways to deal with the stress. One thing I suggested was that when she hung up her work clothes when she got home, she also hang up all thoughts of the place. I also encouraged her to plan a vacation south to see a sister in January or February so she would have a break to look forward to. She works many Sunday mornings, so I hadn't seen her since our visit. Yesterday she was in worship. She rushed over to greet me with a hug and kiss, thanking me for my time and telling me how much it had helped and how much better she felt. She had to work last night, so she wasn't able to Christmas caroling or come to my open house. So one of the groups went and sang carols to her where she works. She was thrilled. So often in ministry we don't know if we're making a difference, so it was wonderful to learn that my visit had been helpful to her.
We had both boards meet in a joint meeting tonight, including all the people who will begin service in January, which meant there were about 25 people there. I told them I was too tired to do higher math tonight, and I couldn't count because it required more than my toes and fingers. We had some time of retiring and continuing members imparting their wisdom and sharing what they thought we should work on in the coming year. The new people shared their hopes/concerns. It was a very positive meeting. The service board then left and I continued with the leadership board. The leadership board was so positive about my leadership this past year.
I asked for a Sunday to be determined off in January. I told them I was tired. The co-moderator of the search committee told me he was proud of me for asking for a Sunday before he had to yell at me. It was such a positive meeting. Lots of laughter and sharing. Some good dreams for the future. In January the two boards will another Monday night and all day on Saturday together to do more intense planning for the coming year.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love serving with this congregation?