April Yamasaki is lead pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Her most recent book is Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal (Herald, 2013). Her blog is part of the CCblogs network.
I serve my congregation as lead pastor, having grown from not at all thinking about pastoral ministry to being called and curious, and now having been in ministry for over 20 years. From my initial call to ordination to increasing responsibility with other staff, I feel as if my church has been one step ahead of me, more ready for me to take on leadership than I envisioned for myself.
At a church leaders' retreat last month, we talked about having an I don't do list as a way of making time for sacred pauses in life and ministry. The things we don't do make it possible to do some other things. The things we say No to allow us to say Yes to other things.
So one pastor said, "I don’t answer the phone at home after 8 p.m."
A few months ago, a Twitter friend deleted her account in favour of Facebook, then signed on again because she missed the interaction with her Twitter friends. Another friend signed up for Twitter, but soon dropped out because it seemed too noisy and busy, and the short form was just too short for what he wanted to say.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).