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What do you do all day?

Thirty years ago, I served a church in downtown Boston which sponsored a preschool. The preschool was located on the same floor as my office, so I had the pleasure of riding the elevator every day with a carload of pastel munchkins.

One day a little darling asked me on the way up to the third floor: “What do you do all day?”

“How,” I wondered, “could I answer that question in a way that a three year old could understand, before the elevator door opens?” 

My response was not particularly helpful. I said something like, “I’m a minister here at Old South Church; so I do minister things.”

The child’s mother tried to bail me out by offering examples of clergy duties that her child might understand.

I thanked her for that as we left the elevator and went our separate ways.

It’s not just three year olds who want to know what pastors do all day, so I’ve tried to have a few succinct responses ready to share, such as these:

  • I attend numerous meetings, read and write lots of emails, and post stuff on FB.
  • I do things that other people won’t do or can’t do.
  • I drive a 40-horse hitch.
  • I oversee the spiritual equivalent of a MASH unit.
  • I conduct a symphony of people and projects based on an unfinished score.

As our Congregation prepares to greet the Rev. Marvin Lance Wiser and his family during the candidating weekend, Feb 3-4, I anticipate that there will be more questions about what the pastors do all day, particularly if Pastor Marvin is called to serve as our Designated Term Associate Minister. So I’m gearing up to answer. The short answers, are listed below:

Pastor Arlene serves as lead worship planner and preacher, pastoral caregiver, and community organizer. She supervises the staff, and directly supports the ministries of the Church Council and the Eden Area Foundation and their committees.

Pastor Pepper guides the Education Spiritual Life and Outreach Committee’s ministry and supports their teams. She also leads worship, ensures that the Safe Congregation Policies of the Church are implemented, supervises the childcare workers, and provides emergency pastoral care.

Pastor Marvin, if elected, will guide Eden’s youth ministries and develop new ministries with young adults and young families. He will start a bilingual Bible study group which will serve as a basis for launching a mid-week worship service that will be less traditional and offered at another time than the Sunday morning service.

The more detailed answers can be found by clicking on the links in this blog.

So that’s what we pastors anticipate doing for the foreseeable future. Since we are not in this ministry alone—news flash—we look forward to hearing how you describe your ministry.

Pastor Arlene