Dear Friends and Family of St. David’s,
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
What do priests/pastors do? After all, they only work on Sundays!!! (So say some who may be half-joking.) This couldn’t be farthest from the truth.
Most pastors or priests I know work roughly 60 hours a week. The median number of hours a pastor works according to a national survey is 50 hours a week.
So here is how my time is utilized during a typical week as your Interim Priest in Charge:
1. Administration: Lots of writing which include congregational and diocesan reports, weekly letters/articles for the newsletter, reading and responding to emails, answering and making phone calls. Setting agendas for the monthly vestry meetings, presiding at church meetings; setting agendas and overseeing weekly staff meetings (Wednesdays); maintaining accurate church records. Vestry and I are currently tackling the reestablishment of St. David’s Standing Teams (formerly committees). These include Worship & Music; Good News, Finance, Stewardship, Property, Faith Formation, etc. This has been no small task and taken a combined effort to get these groups ready to start this coming September. Attending meetings: at St. David’s, meetings for the diocese, individual meetings with local clergy and laity.
2. Priest/Teacher: St. David’s currently holds three weekly Eucharists (Sunday, Wednesday and Friday). On Sundays, I preach three/four times a month. Rev. Carol preaches once a month. Rev. Carol and I share officiating the Wed. Eucharist but we are normally present for the service regardless of who is leading it. Rev. Carol officiates at the Friday Eucharist as that is one of my days off. Sermon preparation takes a lot of time. At seminary, my preaching professor said we should spend an average of 10 hours a week to prepare, study and write a sermon! I am fortunate if I can spend 5 hours on any given sermon. Under priestly responsibilities I also may have funerals or weddings. These also include additional time in visitation at home or in the office. Both Rev. Carol and I lead weekly Bible Studies that requires preparation as well. These studies are on Zoom and everyone is invited to attend. As we return to some sense of normalcy following covid, other classes for new members, confirmation and perhaps a Sunday study prior to or following worship may be added.
3. Counselor/Visitor/Evangelist: On average I have anywhere from 1-5 individuals who meet me in my office during the week. Some of these meetings are scheduled and others are folks who happen to “drop-in.” Rev. Carol and I visit monthly with our homebound members bring them the Eucharist. We split our visitation schedule with homebound members (about 14 – less during the warmer months as they are able to attend one of our worship services) so they see each of us at least 6 times a year. Without Rev. Carol’s help this would take a goodly amount of time in travel and visitation out of my week. We make hospital visits as needed. Please remember if you are in the hospital or will be having surgery and want a visit to let us know. Rev. Carol and I are happy to come and offer prayer and spiritual support.
I am always delighted to have the opportunity to visit with you whether at home, in the office or to meet over a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of beer! Please feel free to schedule a time to get together.
Finally, please bear in mind that I live in Rockford which is just north of Grand Rapids. For four of the five days I am working I travel back and forth to St. David’s. That is about an hour and 20 minutes drive-time one way. So I spend roughly 11 hours a week driving to and from St. David’s.
I hope this helps you understand what your Interim Priest in Charge does along with the Assistant Priest. I am delighted to be serving in this capacity and consider it a privilege to do so all in the name and love of Christ.
Have a great week.
Your Servant in Christ,