Eileen Campbell-Reed https://eileencampbellreed.org Academic Entrepreneur Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:50:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://eileencampbellreed.org/wp-content/uploads/favicon-150x150.png Eileen Campbell-Reed https://eileencampbellreed.org 32 32 163546473 How to Survive Your First Year of Ministry – by Anita Peebles https://eileencampbellreed.org/2020/01/18/how-to-survive-your-first-year-of-ministry-by-anita-peebles/ https://eileencampbellreed.org/2020/01/18/how-to-survive-your-first-year-of-ministry-by-anita-peebles/#respond Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:23:41 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15350 This week we want to share a wonderful guest blog by my friend, recent graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School, and new minister, Anita Peebles. When I asked, Does it feel better to be in the second year of ministry? She…

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This week we want to share a wonderful guest blog by my friend, recent graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School, and new minister, Anita Peebles. When I asked, Does it feel better to be in the second year of ministry? She nearly jumped up and down. She started talking about how it was better. And I said, Will you make a list? Thankfully she did it! Anita offers many great insights about getting through the first year of ministry. Enjoy! ~Eileen  

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How to Survive Your First Year of Ministry

By Rev. Anita Peebles (she/her), Associate Pastor for Next Generation Ministries at Seattle First Baptist Church

In a recent visit to Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, the church where I was ordained in April 2018, I was asked if it felt better to be in my second year of my call than the first. And I almost shouted “YES!” because it does feel sooooooo good to have one year, one whole liturgical calendar, under my belt. With that said, here are some quick tips for surviving your first year of a call, in no particular order. 

  1. Know your people. If you have a church directory with photos, get one and use it. Spend time going through the membership and praying for them. I even have a paper copy that I make notes on, recording things like “Oh yeah, that guy is from Michigan, too” and “that person also loves cats” and “their mother died last year on Christmas, I should check in this year at that time.” Keep up with what’s going on in folks’ lives and let them know you are there to go with them wherever life wanders.
  2. Learn your context. If there are other clergy in your area, meet with them and learn the context of the place in which you serve. Try to get a historical, demographic and cultural history of the area. What are the things your church cares about? What have been the hardest/happiest/most growth-inducing times in the history of your congregation? I literally made a chart of what I knew, didn’t know and wanted to know (K-W-L, anyone?). And, also, I made a power map of my congregation (who holds what kind of influence in different arenas). SUPER enlightening.
  3. Set boundaries. For me, that looks like not checking or answering my email on weekdays after 6:00pm (unless I have evening meetings) and after church on Sundays (cuz for real, I don’t want feedback on the sermon or meeting requests right when I get home from preaching). Like keeping pretty clear lines of pastor and congregant, and communicating directly when those lines are getting fuzzy if it makes you (or them) uncomfortable. It looks like being discerning about who to give my personal cell phone number to vs. asking parishioners to contact me via our church voicemail. Boundaries look like deciding before you start your call what your social media policy is (for example: I don’t send friend requests to parishioners, but I do accept if they initiate a friend request and I don’t accept friend requests or follow requests from people under 18.) Boundaries are also important for stewarding family and friend relationships. For ministers, it’s tempting to be your family’s chaplain…you don’t have to be. Communicate as clearly as possible with your family and friends about the kind of pastoral roles you can and can’t fulfill (i.e. yes, I’ll perform your wedding ceremony but you still have to pay me because an MDiv ain’t free).
  4. Take breaks. Set your phone alarm so you get up from your desk and move around. Schedule vacation reminders on your email so you are not tempted to work when you’re supposed to be restoring. When you take time for your own sabbath, you are giving others permission to do the same. If you have colleagues, ask for accountability. Sabbath is holy time, people!
  5. Have a ministry buddy. Someone not involved in your church. It is an immense benefit to have someone who knows you well, like a friend from seminary or someone else in a caring profession, to talk to about your frustrations, your awesome moments, your cares and griefs and hopes pertaining to your call and your ministry. You may be blessed with people in your church who love you and understand many complexities of ministry. But you need somewhere outside your place of call to share your heart. Keeping in touch with your mentors is also a great way to keep in touch with a community that understands a bit of what you are going through.
    1. Addendum: have friends outside of church. Though your social circles may overlap between your work (church) and friends (maybe also church???), it is healthy to have space to be yourself without the power dynamics of pastor and congregant. Yes, power dynamics exist. Yes, they matter.
    2. Another addendum: there are some awesome social media communities available for folks who are in isolated areas. Groups like Young Clergywomen International (LITERALLY my favorite ever), Progressive Youth Ministry and programs like 3MMM are great reminders that we’re not alone.
    3. Ok, another one: If you’re in a new place and you’ve discovered it is super duper hard to make friends as an adult (hey, I’m just saying what we’re all thinking), at least find a place where you can be around people who are not in your congregation. Maybe that’s at the gym, a coffee shop, a language class, whatever. You are a pastor, yes, but you’re also a human being. Let the human out to play.
        
  6. Keep notes. I felt like a genius when I decided to do an evaluation of each liturgical season and event. The week between Christmas and New Year of my first year of my call, I made lists (I’m a list-maker, could you tell?) of Things To Celebrate About This Season, What I Wish I’d Known When I Started Planning for Advent and Ideas for Next Year. Then, I assigned myself some digital reminders (thanks, Google) and saved the lists in a clearly-titled document, which I found this year when I was looking for ideas for Advent and Christmas. Make sure you record the things that you celebrate, cuz you will want to remember them.
  7. Write thank you notes. My mom, and Emily Post, should be so proud. Since the beginning of this first call, I have made sure to make a note to myself to thank people for every time they have invited me over for dinner, sent me a sweet card, gave me nice hand lotion for my office, or shared a particularly needed compliment. Practicing gratitude is a wonderfully important practice, whether your notes are handwritten, meaningfully said during coffee hour, or an email. This encourages others to practice gratitude in a way that is authentic for them, and before you know it, this becomes a part of your church culture.
  8. Spend time taking care of yourself physically, emotionally  and spiritually. Make sure you get enough sleep, get the right amount of healthy food, drink enough water and exercise in ways that make sense for you. If not treated well, your body will take the rest it needs from you. Emotional labor often takes roost in the body, and pastoral ministry is full of it. Better to work with your body than against it.
  9. Get a spiritual director. Many spiritual directors, findable through Spiritual Directors International, have sliding scales to fit various budget needs. Spiritual directors can help you steward your faith life, witness your gifts and what you bring to your ministry, and think theologically alongside you. My spiritual director is one of the most regular appointments I make (a monthly basis is good for me) and we have powerful conversations about everything from gardening as a spiritual practice to making home in new spaces to my practice of preaching. Or, maybe you have a “spiritual friend,” who can do this kind of deep listening and accompaniment work. Make sure to check with a friend for consent if you want to do this work together, since witnessing requires a call to reflection and trust.
  10. Be proactive about your mental health. This deserves a whole list on its own. Y’all, I live in Seattle, and sometimes the sun doesn’t seem to come up here…and it’s hard. Whatever your mental health situation, this part of your life deserves regular care and check-ins. Whether you see a therapist, take medications, sit next to a sun lamp on a daily basis, journal or a whole host of other activities, make sure to take this part of your life seriously. It is serious. I know that 100% of you would encourage people in your care to seek mental health assistance when needed, and that goes for you, too. There’s ZERO (let me repeat: ZERO) shame in seeking mental health care. When you care for yourself, you care for others around you, and you build important tools that help you stay in ministry for the long haul.
  11. Keep an encouragement box. For me, this is cards and photos from my ordination, sweet notes congregants and colleagues write to me, poems that touch my heart, and prayers that remind me who I am and that I am called. I get this box out every time I need a pick-me-up, feel too cynical or bitter to be helpful or am struck with imposter syndrome…so, like, a lot.
  12. Love your people. There is such beauty in people choosing to come together and be church, to accompany each other along life’s journey. And there is such grace in being called to serve a community that is exploring what it means to pattern our lives after the Way of Jesus. Love your people, through the joys and pains and sorrows and challenges and pettiness and micromanagement. Love your people by showing up for them, challenging them, encouraging them and giving them opportunities to learn, grow and serve. And, let them love you. There will be moments when they surprise you with depths of grace and faith that you hadn’t seen coming–receive them with open hands and an open heart. 

Ok, so these aren’t quick tips, but I hope they help in some way…at least to say, “You’re not alone!” Being called to ministry is a humbling opportunity. Give thanks for it. And be honest about it…alllllllll of it. God is right there with you. 

Anita blogs her sermons and other things at feelingthelight.wordpress.com

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3MMM | Episode 53: Thinking with Imagination https://eileencampbellreed.org/2020/01/18/episode53thinkingwithimagination/ https://eileencampbellreed.org/2020/01/18/episode53thinkingwithimagination/#respond Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:16:36 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15363 Pastoral imagination. A capacity to see into a situation in all of its embodied, relational, and holy depths, and then knowing how to respond in a fitting way. That kind of knowing is the underlying theme of this week’s interview…

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Pastoral imagination. A capacity to see into a situation in all of its embodied, relational, and holy depths, and then knowing how to respond in a fitting way. That kind of knowing is the underlying theme of this week’s interview with Dr. Eric Barreto, professor at Princeton Seminary.

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3MMM | Episode 52: Thinking in Community https://eileencampbellreed.org/2020/01/14/3mmm-episode-52-thinking-in-community/ https://eileencampbellreed.org/2020/01/14/3mmm-episode-52-thinking-in-community/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:22:26 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15321 You need to login to view this content. Please Login. Not a Member? Join Us

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3MMM | Episode 51: Embodied Thinking https://eileencampbellreed.org/2020/01/06/3mmm-episode-53-embodied-thinking/ Tue, 07 Jan 2020 01:09:50 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15293 Epiphany 2020 I awoke on January 6, Epiphany morning, excited and a bit nervous. It’s a big day and I’ve been waiting for it, preparing for it, and anticipating it for a while now. This is the week we launch…

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Epiphany 2020

I awoke on January 6, Epiphany morning, excited and a bit nervous. It’s a big day and I’ve been waiting for it, preparing for it, and anticipating it for a while now. This is the week we launch a new year of Three Minute Ministry Mentor.

But back to waking first. I had terrible dreams over the weekend. If I were highly superstitious, I might worry about all that spectacle of death and violence in my dreams. But mostly I think I was a bit anxious. Even good anxiety can make you dream odd things!

I usually try to avoid social media before breakfast. But something sucked me in this morning. And the first thing I came to was a gem… a story I wrote about my daughter and another small bird ten years ago on Epiphany. I found myself crying at the sweetness of that season, and the beauty of the moment. And just a little at the passing of time.

So much has happened in 10 years. My daughter is the one flying – when she hits a volleyball. The music I’m hearing and choosing is for Year Two of 3MMM.

Want to take a listen? Here you go! Here is the opening episode of my interview with Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto, professor at Princeton Seminary.

In today’s episode, Eric Baretto talks with me about thinking theologically … about thinking in all kinds of ways, not just with our craniums.

Every week for 50 weeks last year we gave you a new component of what it means to learn the practice of ministry.  We sparked imaginations with stories from real life and real ministry. We gave you resources every week and asked questions to provoke your reflections!

This year the practice of ministry is still front and center. And this year I am interviewing people who will help us expand our understanding and deepen the practice of ministry. Each month I will bring you four or five episodes – still just about three minutes each.

We will learn together, in conversation, and in community. Year two is all about building more relationships that will support you in your practice of ministry.

We will keep giving you a lot of amazing stuff. Sharing with delight and joy  what we are creating with you for the sake of making ministry better. What are we asking in return? To know who you are! Tell us who you are and become part of this growing conversation about learning the practice of ministry.

If you are already getting my messages each week in your inbox, you are in. If you are visiting here but don’t get an email from me, we we want to connect with you! We want to know you! We are inviting you to learn with us about the practice!

I love to leave you with a question each week, so here you go:

How do you think about ministry with your body?  

 

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3MMM | How the Light Got In – 2019 https://eileencampbellreed.org/2019/12/31/3mmm-how-the-light-got-in-2019/ https://eileencampbellreed.org/2019/12/31/3mmm-how-the-light-got-in-2019/#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2019 15:17:19 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15258 Each year for the last few, I’ve taken time, with inspiration from my friends and writing pals Duane Bidwell and Frank Thomas, to compile a Gratitude List of Important Things that I have invested myself in during the past year.…

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Each year for the last few, I’ve taken time, with inspiration from my friends and writing pals Duane Bidwell and Frank Thomas, to compile a Gratitude List of Important Things that I have invested myself in during the past year.

This practice is a beautiful alternative to writing impossible “to do” lists for the coming year! And it takes time to honor the ways I have invested my time, energy and love in the very full and overflowing year that is passing away. Twenty-nineteen was one of those very full years. I am limiting this list to ten things, but I might with detail go on for much longer. The longer we live the more people, projects and purposes there are which invite our love and attention.

Here are some of the ways the Light got into my life in 2019: 

  • Parenting and supporting our daughter through the decision-making process of finding the right high school for fall 2020! We are thrilled that she has been admitted to Templeton Academy, a new school in Nashville.
  • Teaching seminary students in classrooms and travel adventures that took me to Collegeville, Minnesota, Havana and Matanzas, Cuba, Clinton, Tennessee, New York City, Kansas City, and across town in Nashville. This work is so much more than the classroom. It also includes listening to the prompting of Gods’ Spirit, hearing the needs for healing from trauma, writing letters of recommendation, celebrating awards won, meeting with mentors and students, walking alongside those who are searching for vocational direction, stretching beyond comfort zones, advocating for and amplifying the voices of students in many situations.
  • Giving my money to support many important causes for justice and goodness in the world; at our house we love supporting Glendale Baptist Church, NOAH, the Alliance of Baptists, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Luke 14:12, Central Seminary, Baptist Women in Ministry, and a slough of others.
  • Coaching writers – I’m so grateful to support writers in 2019 with their dissertations, books, articles and conference papers. I’m grateful to get to know them and accompany them through their life challenges to leave a legacy of their creativity, ideas and insights.
  • Serving on the leadership council of my congregation and sharing in more decisions and conversations than we can count, all of which I count as joy and which facilitate making our community of faith a sanctuary for each other and a way to work together for the purposes to which the Holy is calling us;
  • Accompanying a host of friends through medical treatments, significant losses and grief, divorce, job transitions, and other big life changes. I don’t feel like I need to name these folks or all the many paths they are on. You know who you are. And I see this kind of friendship and mutual compassion as among the most life-giving moments of how I spend my life energy.
  • Authoring two solo journal articles, two multi-authored journal articles, one book chapter about mentoring, and more than 55 blogs, as well and moving three book projects forward.
  • Moving my office home after ten years and rearranging our house to accommodate my books and files, and office stuff, while also making a new space for M’s room and a new guest room; these are not entirely complete, but when is a house every complete?
  • Meeting with young and experienced faith leaders from a variety of traditions, including interviewing ministers in the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project, retreating with new Baptist pastors from the South, lunching with women in ministry in Middle Tennessee, and being a witness and elder in a gathering of Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Native American leaders in the Twin Cities, who gathered to see the world as it is an to dream about a renewed world in which we work together from our own deep rootedness.
  • Launching and completing a full year of Three Minute Ministry Mentor, connecting with numerous new ministers and seminarians, including YOU if you’ve read this far through my list, and incorporating the initiative into an LLC.

 

I could make a longer list or show more of the “invisible legacies” (thanks Jed Bartlett) of this year, but mostly I make this list as an accounting to myself. And I make it public because too much life energy in our world goes into how things look or how they impress or into things that evaporate immediately and make little lasting change. I want to value the shared ways that we give our lives to things that matter and will last … through relationships and writing, through directing money, energy and time, through accompanying one another through all the seasons of life.

That is the holy and sacred work that shines through each of us. This is how the light gets in. Selah.

 

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3MMM | Merry Christmas! https://eileencampbellreed.org/2019/12/23/3mmm-merry-christmas/ Mon, 23 Dec 2019 12:20:08 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15240 Merry Christmas! On the brink of this changing season, I  offer to you, dear friends, my blessing, and I pray for peace and purpose to take hold in your minds and hearts. I hope with you for healing and for…

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Merry Christmas!

On the brink of this changing season, I  offer to you, dear friends, my blessing, and I pray for peace and purpose to take hold in your minds and hearts. I hope with you for healing and for wholeness and for clarity in these days. May you seek and find renewal as the season of Advent turns to Christmastide.

Ground, center and anchor yourselves in the love of God.

A blessing for the holy season that is upon us….

Even in a world of frustrations and disappointments,

border violations and racist slurs,

sudden and untimely deaths,

climate emergency and political upheaval,

a new thing keeps being born,

and the old things keep passing away.

Grief, lament, anguish fill our days.

Yet

Spirit keeps rising out of the ashes

and starting new fires

in hearts just around every corner.

New life keeps pushing and expanding and breathing its way into the world.

The Holy keeps slipping in through the tiny pinholes and cracks of light.

We’ve waited

we’ve wondered

we’ve repented and reconsidered

we’ve given up and started over

we’ve thrown ourselves all in,

once again.

We’ve said our yeses and our nos

and meant them, every one.

Still.

Here we are deciding once more.

And a flame sparks, a babe cries out, a hand reaches, the sacred moment opens up, and takes us by surprise.

For an instant the pathway to peace is open, open, open…

Shall we take it?

Let’s.

+ + + + + + +

 

May each idea, story, resource and question we have curated continue to inform and inspire your practice of ministry in the coming year! ~Eileen

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3MMM | Year One Sponsor Thanks https://eileencampbellreed.org/2019/12/10/3mmm-year-one-sponsor-thanks/ Tue, 10 Dec 2019 15:34:51 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15190 How can I thank thee? Let me count the ways! Coming to the close of Three Minute Ministry Mentor’s first year, I want to pause and offer my personal thanks to our sponsors and partners! It has been a joyous…

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How can I thank thee?

Let me count the ways!

Coming to the close of Three Minute Ministry Mentor’s first year, I want to pause and offer my personal thanks to our sponsors and partners! It has been a joyous and full year, and I could not have done it without you!

Thanks to Central Seminary and the Formed for Flourishing Grant, which became 3MMM’s first financial sponsor in Year One. Central has been preparing leaders for the practice of ministry for more than 117 years. Thanks for your commitment to women called to ministry, for lifting up spiritual formation alongside biblical and theological information, and for reaching out to be a global citizen.

“Two goals of the Formed for Flourishing program include connecting ministers through mentoring relationships and putting accessible tools in their hands to aid in their practice of ministry. The 3MMM video segments support each of these calls! We are delighted to share the videos in mentoring groups as conversation starters that are both formational and informational, and to offer the video library as a resource for one-to-one mentoring relationships.”  – Rev. Dr. Angela Jackson, director Formed for Flourishing, Central Seminary

Thanks to Glendale Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee for opening your doors to the first and final filming sessions of the year. You are the model of open doors and a welcoming spirit. Thanks for being my spiritual home for many years through thick and thin. Thanks for the work you do over decades of consistently nurturing the next generation of pastoral interns affectionately known as Glenterns.

So many thanks to Adelicia Company, Nashville, Tennessee, for your amazing film work, editing, production and general good sense of grace and humor. Ben Saunders and Kyle Jonas understand the vision of this project. They are gifted at their work and patient with me and with our process. I’m so delighted that this partnership will continue in to Year Two of 3MMM! We’ve already been filming in Nashville and San Diego. Excited to see how the second year of conversations with pastors, scholars and mentors will look!

Thanks to Saint John, African Methodist Episcopal, one of Nashville’s leaders in the era of Civil Rights and a servant to their local community in North Nashville. Saint John has been a seed bed of leaders in many professions from medicine and law to ministry and higher education. The day we filmed at St. John’s they regaled us with history and hospitality. What an honor to be in the space built with bricks of the previous church house that stood on Capitol Hill, and was forced to move in the I-40 project of the 1950s. They have endured and thrived in spite of many challenges. Living history!

I am grateful to Helping Pastors Thrive, a new initiative of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, funded by the Lilly Endowment. The vision of this program to surround pastors at many stages of their practice of ministry with resources and support. I am delighted to be walking along with seven new pastors as they anchor their vocations with congregations and seek to become wise and compassionate leaders.

Thanks to Christ Lutheran Church of Nashville, Tennessee for opening up your space for a day of filming 3MMM. Thanks for opening your space to other community partners, more than one congregation, and to artists and jazz musicians.

 

Thanks to the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project for ten years of gathering the stories of people called to ministry and following with them in the only longitudinal study of ministry in the U.S. It is my privilege and deep honor to interview people called to the practice of ministry and learn alongside them how that work unfolds across time. Thanks to my partners in the study, Chris Scharen and Catrina Ciccone. Thanks to each participant who has graciously shared their stories, insights, foibles and defining moments. What a joyful journey this has been and continues to be!

Thanks to Second Presbyterian Church of Nashville, Tennessee, for providing beautiful space both inside and outside your buildings for us to film episodes of 3MMM. You have been a witness to the city of Nashville for what it means to rise from the ashes and start again. Your love and nurture of people at every age and stage, sexual orientation and gender identity, your care for the earth, and your service to people who are among the neediest in the city … all are so inspiring.

Thank you to St. David’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee. You are a beacon in your neighborhood lifting up the values of community and music, education and the enduring rituals of the church. I am so grateful for a day spent on your campus and in the green space that you steward so lovingly! I am grateful for your pastor who embodies your sense of both the sacred and the silly, what a gift!

Thanks also to Vine Street Christian which provided a warm and inviting shelter on a cold and rainy day in Nashville last winter. I am grateful for your welcome to me and that you are a congregation that welcomes all God’s children. Thanks for inspiring us with your creative partnerships and vision for being the church in a new context of rapidly growing Nashville. Thank you for continuing to make space for people learning the practice of ministry through field education. Grateful!

Toward the end of 3MMM Y1  we also formalized an exciting partnership with Ethics Daily! Starting this fall episodes of 3MMM are featured on the Ethics Daily site on Tuesdays. We are grateful for the ways Ethics Daily is taking on the challenging and demanding issues of our day. Grateful for a partnership to share good work!

And thanks to Adam DJ Brett and Erin Robinson Hall, who help me keep it all running week in and week out. Who keep me laughing and do things beyond my hopes for this project that seeks to inspire and inform the practice of ministry. I could not do this work without them!

And finally my thanks to my family. I could not have launched this project without your love, support, patience, good sense of humor and willingness to live with me just as I am – your wife and mom. <3

 

 

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3MMM | Advent Light https://eileencampbellreed.org/2019/12/02/adventlight/ Mon, 02 Dec 2019 15:41:46 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15162 Advent is here. For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.” (Psalm 122: 8) Advent is one of the intense seasons of life, especially if you lead a congregation or any people of…

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Advent is here.

For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.” (Psalm 122: 8)

Advent is one of the intense seasons of life, especially if you lead a congregation or any people of faith. The practice of ministry required by congregational leadership takes tremendous focus and improvisation for an entire month to be fully present to the strange mix of gift and demand that is Advent.

Think about it. Leading the people of God requires all this and more:
+ inviting them into the mystery, beauty, and the holy depths of this season through carefully crafted worship and preaching;
+ keeping tension with all the daily grind of the news cycle, sorting out that which must have our attention and that which can pass along;
+ staving off the pressures to just consume more things, rather than wait in the imperfectability of life;
+ attending to the many griefs that arise through the holiday season – both the losses of loved ones past and the losses of dreams for how things might have been; all these griefs seem to tumble out in this season of waiting.

(Read more about Advent in my own past journey of ministry and teaching here.)

How do we find peace within?

Here are some things – which are not things at all – that I need to experience and to invite peace within this Advent season. I share them in solidarity with you, friends and ministers, that you might also lean into that which nurtures peace in your soul.

Light

As days draw shorter, and darkness, lit only by moon and stars, fills up the hours of the day, I need, even crave, the physical energy that emanates from fire, electricity, the sun.

Yet, as my friend and fellow church member Beth Ritter-Conn reminded my congregation on Sunday, light and dark as binaries, opposites, and counterweights have been used to accomplish great harm. The use of “light” and “dark” are employed in constructing “race,” portraying ignorance, and extending the power of already powerful people.

So we cannot speak of light in some uncritical way, and yet we also must speak of light as both material and metaphorical realities. Light is a source of life. Without the sun, we perish. Light is the literal source of illumination without which, we cannot see.

I’ve chased light throughout other seasons. And this year in Advent, I am seeking light from the fire in my hearth, even while seeking to share warmth with people who have no hearth of their own. I am seeking illumination to write and to plan, and my planning is not just for my own benefit but in the service of students, friends, ministers, and colleagues.

My need for light is embodied in my agreement with my family that we  put up just one tree (pre-lit) with not even one ornament. We got out the Advent box, and we placed single candles in each window. We will add a wreath to the front porch when we find it. But these choices to keep life and expectations simple. They help me focus on light that will nourish my sense of peace this season.

I also need silence, simplicity and sabbath rest. I will journal and share about those in coming days.

What is nourishing you in your practice of ministry this Advent? What will open the possibility of peace within? 

Connecting

As we let things lie fallow and wait for Year 2 of #3MMM, we would welcome your feedback! Please let us hear from you today! You are invited to share your thoughts with us, here!

Looking for topics to discuss with your students, mentors or friends in ministry? Try our awesome new index to 3MMM! Find topics in related to the practice of ministry, and go ahead, share them! Also, please sign up for the weekly 3MMM email! Each week you’ll receive a new episode as they are published.

You can read and watch all the latest episodes of 3MMM here!

 

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3MMM | Thankful https://eileencampbellreed.org/2019/11/25/3mmm-thankful/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 14:46:42 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15153 What are you pouring yourself into? Last week this question invited me to think of all the ways I am pouring myself into my own living and into the lives of others. I heard the question in a circle of…

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What are you pouring yourself into?

Last week this question invited me to think of all the ways I am pouring myself into my own living and into the lives of others. I heard the question in a circle of interfaith leaders gathered in the Twin Cities.

The gathering brought together young leaders from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Native American organizations, congregations, and groups. Before arriving, the planners invited us to bring and share a symbol of ourselves, our lives and our work.

It was the beginning of two beautiful days of reflecting together on the “truth of now” in the world, and what we dream of for the future of the world, and how we are pouring our lives into making that dream come to life. We considered obstacles and also how we can support and resource each other. So inspiring!

The opening question is still sticking with me. This week when many Americans turn to the complicated holiday of Thanksgiving, I am thinking not just about the blessings poured into my life (how small that thinking is!), but how I am pouring my life into God’s broken and beautiful world.

With my work in just the last few days, I am pouring myself into…

  • friends and colleagues, people I’ve known now for many years, by walking with them, listening to their lives, commiserating and celebrating, laughing and loving life in all its mess together;
  • talking about scholarship, writing, and giving feedback;
  • sharing meals and renewing spirits;
  • listening to the lives of young religious leaders and thinking about what they need to do their work;
  • shining a spotlight on the work of my colleagues in theological education to make space for what they are pouring their lives into.

Each of these moments has not only been about me pouring out my life, it has been about receiving what others share with me, filling me up and renewing my strength. These moments give me courage to speak the truth about now, and the hope to dream about how we love and heal this broken and beautiful world.

What are YOU pouring yourself into?

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This time for Three Minute Ministry Mentor is a bit of a fallow time… we are regathering, giving thanks, thinking about how we will continue to pour ourselves into supporting you in your practice of ministry.

We would love to hear from you in this time!

And please join us in anticipating with us the new directions 3MMM will be taking in 2020.

Would you share some feedback with us? We would love to hear from you today! You are invited to share your thoughts with us, here!

We think you will like our awesome new index to 3MMM! Find topics in related to the practice of ministry, and please share them with friends,  teachers and mentors. It is never too late to sign up for the weekly 3MMM email! Each week you’ll receive a new episode as they are published.

You can read and watch all the latest episodes of 3MMM here!

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3MMM | Year Two Coming in 2020 https://eileencampbellreed.org/2019/11/18/3mmm-year-two-coming-in-2020/ Mon, 18 Nov 2019 12:14:02 +0000 https://eileencampbellreed.org/?p=15107 This time last year, I did not even have my promo for the early episodes of Three Minute Ministry Mentor in hand yet. That first short video announcing a new thing arrived while I was attending the American Academy of…

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This time last year, I did not even have my promo for the early episodes of Three Minute Ministry Mentor in hand yet.

That first short video announcing a new thing arrived while I was attending the American Academy of Religion in Denver. I was showing friends and asking for opinions, and collaboration and support.

It was so exciting and I knew the new venture was the next right thing for me to do. Things – and there were so many! – were falling into place. And even the challenges seemed totally worth the extra effort.

Now a year later, we have launched, and put out 50 weekly videos, podcasts and blogs. It is a good time to pause and take stock, to celebrate and offer thanks. Let’s get that ball rolling …

It has been a great year. So full…. of joy, hard work, engagement, team work, new challenges, emerging partnerships, and satisfactions that come from hearing how the work has landed with you!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be taking time to give thanks, to continue building partnerships for the coming year, and interviewing professors and ministers for Year 2 of Three Minute Ministry Mentor.

If you are coming to AAR this year in San Diego, look for me! Let’s connect and see what is on your mind, what your questions are about the practice of ministry and the work of mentoring. And I’ll give you a sticker and a bookmark!

If you have not joined us by subscribing to our weekly email, right now is a good time!  Exciting times ahead!

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