calendar October 29, 2021 in Bishop, Bishop messages

Celebrating Our Rostered Ministers

Yes, it’s a celebration.

We recall the words of St. Paul, written in First Timothy 5:17. He says, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy “of double honor, especially those who labor “in preaching and teaching.” And then he reiterated it to the saints in Thessalonica, “But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, “to respect those who labor among you and have charge of you” in the Lord and admonish you. “Esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.”

Today, we pause as we draw to the end of Clergy Appreciation Month to give thanks to God for our rostered ministers. We celebrate you and your gifts of ministry in all times but especially in these challenging times.

It has been very hard to lead in this ongoing pandemic, worship on a digital platform. Do we live stream or do we just do a video or do we do Facebook Live? How do we stay connected with our people? Do we send texts or do we make phone calls or do we show up and just stand outside of glass windows? Do we do in-person worship in the parking lot, in the sanctuary? Vaccinations? Masks? No mask? It’s been hard. Some of our leaders are overwhelmed by this new abnormal caused by COVID.

We pause because scripture tells us to, “Give honor “to whom honor is due.” Congregations are honoring their leaders in many ways. I want to encourage our congregations in SEPA Synod to find some special way for expressing your appreciation to your pastor, deacon, church staff, and their families.

Scripture tells us, “So let us not grow weary “in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time “if we do not give up.” So, to my beloved rostered ministers, hold on to God’s unchanging hand. We will get through to the other side of this pandemic. I keep you in thought and prayer.

Beloved, please know that we appreciate our deacons and our pastors and our lay ministers 365 days of the year, sometimes 366 days of the year. We continue to hold you up, to honor you for the work that you do in and amongst God’s people to build up the kingdom of God here and to be the beloved community that God calls us to be.

I look forward to greeting each and every one of you at our rostered minister’s equipping event on November 16th and 17th.

God bless you all and we will continue together to celebrate what God is doing in and through each and every one of you.

+ The Rev. Patricia A. Davenport