December 2010

The Amazing Pace

The NCC Wellness Committee is introducing a pedometer-based walking program free to all NC Conference clergy members in 2011. Enrollment is also free to NC Conference and local church lay employees enrolled in the Conference Health Plan.

Choosing Where to be Present

The Incarnate Son of God chose to be present in the hurting and dangerous places and among the outcasts and marginalized.

By Kenneth L. Carder

 “What advice do you have?” I asked a veteran bishop as I prepared to assume that same office after my election in 1992.

“Choose carefully where to be present, especially your first Sunday,” he replied. “Where you decide to be will be remembered longer than what you say or do when you get there. And, where and with whom you spend your time will shape your view of the church and your role in it.”

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Balancing Christmas hoopla with Advent spirituality

Lillian Daniel writes about loving both the solemn mood of Advent and the fun of "cultural" Christmas.

In a 2009 essay at the Call & Response blog at Faith & Leadership, Lillian Daniel writes about loving both the solemn mood of Advent and the fun of "cultural" Christmas, the shopping and wrapping and baking, etc.

Our North Carolina pastors will be in my prayers this coming week.  Amidst all the "meaning making" you are responsible for, I pray that you get to stop and smell the evergreen branches.

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The power of yes and no

Joseph was going to call the whole thing off.

Here is an Advent reflection for this week, by our friend and office-neighbor Bill Lamar at Faith & Leadership.

A preview:

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Connecting Self-Care to Ministry

To step away from your parish for three solid days and to turn your mobile phone off (at least for part of the time) is a tall order.

Last week, Faith & Leadership published an article by Mark Miller-McLemore about clergy sabbaticals.  The writer identifies a number of downsides for the congregation and staff who must hold down the fort while the senior pastor is away.  The purpose of the article is not to urge against sabbaticals, but to point out some pitfalls that should be kept in mind when a pastor plans for a sabbatical. 

The Incarnation of Excellence

The One who is the incarnation of excellence was born of a young peasant girl among the homeless in a cattle stall.

By Kenneth Carder

Defining excellence in ministry remains a challenge. Some people suggest that the term excellence carries so much class and cultural baggage that an alternative descriptive word or phrase should be used.  Faithful, fruitful, and effective seem to be the most frequently suggested substitutes.

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This week, we reached another major milestone as Spirited Life participants learned to which of three groups they have been randomly assigned as part of our wellness program and health study.

A few hurdles down, many more to go as we move toward helping clergy prioritize health.

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Advent and Christmas Resources

Just a quick drive-by to point out some Advent resources that may be of interest or use to you.

Sisters and brothers,