Florence Congregational Church
Saturday, July 11, 2020
A Place to Connect


An article, A Time to Retreat, written by Peter Giersch in Rev. magazine is subtitled, In the busyness of ministry, intentional time alone with God benefits you, your family, and your congregation. Giersch begins, “Christ stands at the door knocking...or perhaps that is my administration assistant, or my spouse, or the
youth pastor, or...”
Nobody has to tell you what a demanding and diversified job description that pastors are expected to fill in today’s world. As an administrator, teacher, counselor, and spiritual leader of a congregation, a pastor’s personal spiritual health and energy level can become depleted with limited resources for renewal.
One of the ways to avoid burnout is good time management, which I am not always the best at. Every pastor needs to spend time alone with God, especially in today’s world of noise and busyness. Trying to find quiet moments with God are extremely important and cherished when achieved. As much as pastors try to make it a priority, there are family and congregational demands that often bump that priority. Yet time alone with God will bear great fruit. It will strengthen ministry and give a pastor new direction in life. Retreating to a quiet place with God provides for growth and nurture through an intimate experience with God.

During our Lenten journey, which culminated with Holy Week leading to our celebration on Easter Sunday, I managed to discover new ways to find focus on God’s message. This was found in the staged reading (play) directed by Jasmine Myers of The Still Small Troupe who worked with a small group of us here at the church. She encouraged us to breathe and reflect deeply on the characters we were portraying. This pushed us to dig deep into scripture to learn about the disciples. During our class time we experienced breathing techniques, humor, playfulness and lots of laughter. While our theme was serious, our interaction and study was lighthearted and joyful. Our work together culminated on Good Friday evening when we presented our work, titled “The Day Between” exploring the thoughts, feelings, and anxious moments of the disciples between Jesus’ arrest and resurrection. Really, what were they thinking, experiencing? How could they breathe? Their leader... their Messiah was dead. What would they do next?
As spring flowers begin to poke out through the soil, birds sing, and God’s creation comes alive, take time to breathe, observe and reflect on God’s goodness and creativity. Find time to relax with God. Talk to God. Envision God’s hand is still forming and shaping the world... desiring great peace for all of us.

Peace in Christ, Pi

Florence Congregational Church • 130 Pine Street, Florence, Massachusetts 01062 • 413.584.1325