As we move into the holidays, the pace of church life usually changes. In my experience, the period between August 1st and Halloween marks the season of change. From Halloween until New Year’s Day, holiday concerns become dominant, whether the anxiety is negative or positive. The holiday season means the pace of organizational change slows down and pastoral concerns become more significant.
In my case, I spend much of the holiday season consolidating the learning of the earlier part of the church year. I have started to understand the personality of the congregation, where its heart beats and its mind focuses. I won’t make any claims to knowledge, but my intuition is offering some suggestions. The holidays are a time for me to make course corrections and start to explore some possible projects. I’ve got sixty days to start building a plan for January 1.
The focus this month will be more on emotional concerns than on intellectual visions and strategic planning. The messages are about addressing the recognition of the roles of grief, joy, and compassion in our lives, especially during the holiday season. We are emotional beings, and our hearts have reason that reason knows not.
May we find peace, wellbeing, and joy this holiday season.