Feeding My Spirit

I have recently been receiving feedback that my ministry is making other people tired.  Interesting, but not really my intention.  The feedback usually comes after someone reads my monthly report to the Board of Trustees (Let’s face it, December is busy for ministers.) or the January newsletter which is full of my activities for the coming months.  I don’t want reading about my full schedule to fatigue other people.

My first response was to point out that I am an extrovert from a Myers Briggs perspective, which means I get energized rather than drained by being with people.  However, I think the new items added to my calendar stem from a different source.

My first few months in Orlando were taken up with learning about the congregation.  There was a lot of focus on the nuts and bolts of governance and how ministry is accomplished here at First Unitarian (1U).  In the process, I have gotten to know a lot of the lay leaders.  This is all wonderful.

But…

I really love leading adult programs.  It is such a great way to get to know the other folks in the congregation and to continue my own growth.  If I wait until all the institutional work is done to do these “fun” things, it will never happen.

Don’t get me wrong.  I feel that institutional work is very important.  How we govern and manage ourselves is an expression of our values and therefore critical.  But even as this work is on-going, I need to reward myself with the things that really feed my spirit.

We are all fed in different ways.   So, don’t be worrying.   In addition to leading worship and going to meetings, I am going to lead some adult programs… and I’ll be a happier minister because of it.

What do you do that makes you happy and feeds your spirit?

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5 Responses to Feeding My Spirit

  1. Chip Dockery says:

    I think it’s wonderful! I may not be in attendance at several due to scheduling, but wonderful nonetheless.

  2. Ken Lofgren says:

    One thing that “fed my spirit” recently was watching “The Calling” documentary on PBS, which followed the path of a half dozen aspiring clergy in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Despite their vastly different personalities and vastly different faiths, each story was compelling, each journey fascinating. They were all following something they were called to do, not what was easiest or promised the greatest financial rewards. They had that in common and that was more important than the differences.

  3. I find my soul tends to ebb and flow between needing Beloved Community and Activity and needing Stillness and Silence and Reading and Writing. Sometimes I am nourished in body and spirit when I am cooking and laughing and joking in a kitchen with friends, or enlivening conversation and exploration of ideas and their application/practicalities. Sometimes I need to retreat, digest the delicacies of interaction and community; to reflect on what I have experienced and spend some time refueling my mind with reading and nourish my Soul with writing.

    The challenge for me seems to be in balancing these two modes of spiritual nourishment… so that I don’t burn out by diving to far into the social/societal, and don’t end up hermit-ing alone in my room….

  4. Erika Lohmus says:

    This may sound pretty simple and boring but sports and being physically active make me happy and feed my spirit. Whether it is going for a run, riding my bike or playing anything from basketball to softball (and more) gives me a euphoric “I’m awesome and powerful” feeling.

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