Ten Things to Do for Christmas

It’s that time of year: Christmas. And as clergy, we are often tasked with making sure everyone else’s Christmas goes perfectly. Sometimes, that means we forget about our own Christmases. In the spirit of giving (and preparing, re: Advent), here is a list of 10 things to do as we get closer to Christmas. Whether […]

How is Self-Care Different from Soul Care?

If you feel like your feed is infiltrated with reminders about the importance of self-care, you are not alone. The $1.5 trillion self-care industry is expansive and pervasive in its influence. It isn’t an accident that you are receiving reminder after reminder of the ways that you can ensure that you are taking care of […]

The Work of Real Self-Care: Holding Pain and Hope Together

“The work of real self-care is to hold pain and hope together.” -Pooja Lakshmin Back in December at a pastors’ gathering, my local denominational body used a polling app to ask the group a series of questions about stress and burnout. The consensus was clear: this was a group of people reporting high amounts of […]

Mindfulness and Ministry: Cognitive Based Compassion Training

I’m re-doing my CPE. That’s right. I did it already: not just one unit, but four, and now I’m doing it again. That story will be told in a separate article. This article is about a valuable practice I learned about in my second-time-around second unit: Cognitive Based Compassion Training, or CBCT. 

A Pastor in the Real World

For years I have joked about what I would do with my life if this ministry thing didn’t work out. As with all jokes, there has always been a part to it that is tragic and true. In February of this year, I swore off congregational ministry. As a pastor, I experienced a type of […]

How Are You– Really?

The other night in Bible study I posed the question: Is anyone happy?  People are not OK right now. Whether it is ongoing pandemic fatigue, financial stress, job dissatisfaction, or general feelings of ennui, many of us are feeling burned out, surrounded by other burned out people. It’s not a very life-giving situation. If you […]

Dear Clergy: A Letter for November

My dear, weary, fierce colleagues in ministry, It’s been a year, hasn’t it? None of us knew going in to 2020 what would come; none of us expected to spend the majority of the year figuring out how to minister to and with people we couldn’t be within an arm’s reach of. And yet, here […]

Sabbath, Rest, and the Voices Inside My Head

“Would you ever consider doing something like this?” I asked. I was sitting with my friend Jeff in the balcony seats of the Wilbur Theater in Boston. “Nooo!” he replied. “Do you think Hannah would?” I asked. “Nope,” he said. “What about Luke?” “No way,” I answered. It was intermission at a Mainstage production of […]

The Pastor’s Advent

As I write this, I’m sitting on my living room couch. I showered this morning, but I’m wearing what my husband’s aunt calls “soft clothes” – a sweatshirt, and lounge pants, and slippers. I haven’t worn mascara in more than a week. “What are you going to do today?” my husband asked me, this morning, […]

Ask a YCW: Vacation Edition

  Dear Askie, I’m a solo pastor, and as summer approaches, people have been asking me what I’m doing for vacation this year. I know everyone says vacation is important for pastors, and I have vacation time included in my terms of call, but it seems like any week I’d want to be away, I […]