I titled this article “Summer Slow Down” but there really hasn’t been one for me. The primary reason for that, of course, is my recent appointment as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Ithaca. Being new to the parish I have a lot to learn about the parish. Fortunately, our parish staff have been very helpful and the parishioners are very kind.
However, my new appointment is not the only reason for being busy. Since I last wrote six days ago, I have presided at two weddings in Penn Yan, attended the 60th Anniversary of Religious Profession for Sr. Leona in Elmira, presided at a burial service yesterday, and meet with two other families yesterday to plan a funeral today and another one on Thursday. Sr. Edna and I also went to Cayuga Ridge Nursing Home to anoint a man who is dying and spent some time with his family. Lastly, this week is Vacation Bible School so I spent some time with the children and leaders last night.
I say all thisin no way to complain. All of this is God’s work. It includes the joy of couples coming together in marriage, the sorrow at the death of loved ones, and all the energy and joy that the children have at Vacation Bible School.
I don’t write to say ‘Look at me! See how busy I am!” What I do want to talk about here is the thanks that I wish to express to God for his gift of peace in all these ministries. While I spent a lot of time at work in my ministry and like to keep busy, when a lot of things come at me at once, I get overwhelmed and burnout. That has not been the case this week. God is keeping me calm and at peace. I would never say no to any of the ministries of this past week but it is challenging for me.
So, I know I can’t do it alone. I also know I don’t have to do it all by myself. Sr. Edna has been working with me on some of the funerals and the nursing home visit. Rich, our Youth Minister is in charge of the Vacation Bible School and he has several volunteers who do most of the work. Of course, there are other staff people who take care of administrative items and maintenance. There are parishioners who take care of the Parish Gift Shop and several other ministries. I am thankful for what they do.
In what part of your life do you need God’s help right now and through whom might God be offering you that help?