June 24, 2022
It seems like a whirlwind last six weeks! Since the middle of May, I’ve been out of worship more than I’ve been in worship, and I’ve missed it! I’ve missed gathering with the community of St. Mark’s as we sing, read Scripture, pray, and learn together. I’ve missed your smiling faces and your encouraging words.
However, this time away has been good for my soul and body. Our family vacation was filled with connecting, relaxing, and eating! We read books, watched television, and discovered new restaurants! We did go to the zoo and bowling, but other than that, we stuck close to home. It was a good time to just relax and recharge for the next season of ministry and life.
I am blessed to have this vacation. Our conference allows all full-time pastors four weeks of vacation including four Sundays, a Sunday for continuing education, and a Sunday for “evangelistic” leadership. The stipulation is that we must take this in an appointment year, between July 1 and June 30. It doesn’t roll over or accumulate. Some local churches have allowed rollover in certain circumstances, but it is always for some specific reason. In addition, the Book of Discipline has various kinds of “leave” that we can request and take in consultation with the conference and the local church, but we won’t bring that up today!
The Church provides this rest because it’s important. We worship a God who rested after the work of creation (Genesis 2:1-3). We follow a Savior who rested in the back of the boat when he was tired (Luke 8:22-23). We follow a Spirit that invites us to rest (Hebrews 4:9-11). The Church knows that people who rest and have time away are people who return to work more effectively.
This paid time off isn’t a perk of employment for everyone in this nation. In 1910 President William Taft proposed that every American worker needed two to three months of vacation. He said it was “in order to continue his work next year with the energy and effectiveness which it ought to have.” Taft persisted with Congress, but his law never passed. Before WWII, paid vacation and holiday time were generally a perk only for white-collar workers; by 1944, 85% of unionized employees earned some kind of paid time off. Today, 3 in 4 workers get paid time off.
For more information, see https://blog.pacifictimesheet.com/blog/how-paid-leave-started-in-the-united-states
Many of you no longer have jobs that require you to take a vacation, but I still encourage you to rest. Be intentional about pausing and allowing God to give you rest. Be intentional about allowing the Spirit to renew your body through rest. But I also encourage you to advocate for others to rest. You can use your voice to advocate for rest for those who work. We may never get the mandated vacation Taft worked for, but we can invite others to provide rest for their employees and to use the rest given them by their employers.
This week, may you embrace the rest God modeled for us.
See you soon!
- 8:30 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
- 10 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary
- 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care
- 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website
To access our livestream service:
- From the main menu on our website click “Worship.” -OR-
- Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.