Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All in a Day's Work

There is an interesting conversation thread going around about "The Pastor's Schedule." Coffee pastor started it with his post and I've decided to add my $0.02. I am going to use the format that Beth Quick employed in her post.

1. Days Off: I try to take one full day off each week. For now that day is Friday. Friday does not afford me the opportunity to spend a whole day off with Gary, but it does allow me some uninterrupted alone time, which I always crave at the end of the week. As an introvert, I really need some down time to recharge for the weekend. I also try to take Saturday mornings off, when I am able, which seems to be less often lately.

2. Office Hours: I don't have set office hours, but I am usually in and out of the office between 10am and 5pm Monday through Thursday. The office manager basically knows where I am so she can find me if necessary. There is always the cell phone for communication, too. (Only the church staff has my cell phone number, not the general congregation.) Saturday afternoons I am also in the office. This is when I make most of my baptism and wedding related appointments since most of those folks work during the weekdays.

3. At the Office: At the office I work on my bulletins and sermon, prep for Bible Study and Confirmation classes, work on administrative tasks, write my piece for the newsletter, make phone calls, answer e-mails. I try to get my bulletins and any class preparations done at the beginning of the week and save the end of the week for sermon preparation.

4. Visitation - I don't have any set times for visitation. Being the Associate Pastor, I am responsible for hospital visitations at the beginning of the week (Monday and Tuesday) and Saturday. As for other visits, sometimes I will go out Wednesday or Thursday afternoons. Some weeks I will go to several homes for short visits with communion in one afternoon. Other times I go to one home and visit longer. Sometimes I go out on visits with our Director of Parish Visitation, which adds another dimension of fellowship to these times.

5. Evenings - Like most pastors, some weeks I have many meetings and others are more free. I can usually count on having meetings Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday nights are usually blessedly free from meetings. Thursdays I sometimes have board meetings for the Council of Churches. Saturdays are occasionally busy with concerts or fellowship events. Sundays are reserved for Confirmation (which I lead) and Youth Group (which I don't always attend).

6. Weekends - I think I basically covered weekends above. Whenever possible I try to take Saturday mornings off to spend with Gary. Saturday afternoons are filled with appointments and sermon writing. Sometimes the sermon writing carries over to the evening. Sunday mornings begin at 7:30am when I arrive at church for the 8:00am service and last until 1:00pm, when I finally leave after the third service. There are usually a couple free hours in the afternoon before I have to return for Confirmation and / or Youth Group.

Of course there is much variation on this schedule week to week, depending on specific things that arise (funerals, weddings, denominational meetings). Also, I find there is wonderful flexibility to the 'pastors schedule'. I can make doctors appointments during the day, sneak off for the (very) occasional afternoon nap, or just decide to 'work from home' one day.

Thanks, Coffeepastor, for this thread. It has been fun, and a bit enlightening, to really think about how I spend my week!

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