By Sue Magrath
How are y’all doing? And don’t bother telling me you’re okay. You’re not. I know you’re not. How could you be after the massive changes to the way you do ministry that COVID has forced upon you? Even after 18 months of it, there is still no relief. The stress remains unabated. And we all know what nearly constant pressure can do to the mind and body, much less the soul!
Hear this! You are not alone. I’m not sure how much it helps to hear that, but you are not alone in your anxiety, your fatigue, your depression, your despair at the state of your congregation and ministry. You might be feeling like you should be doing better after all this time. You might think that your congregation is the only one going through conflict, hateful behavior, and critical comments aimed directly at you. But sometimes it feels good to be validated, to know that you aren’t the only one to feel like a failure or to consider leaving the ministry or to be more exhausted than you’ve ever been.
In preparation for a recent meeting of the Formation Committee of the PNW Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, we found an article that might help you feel less alone. It also might be a good one to share with your congregations so they might wake up to the struggles you are going through in these challenging times. Hopefully, it will encourage you to reach out to others for help and support.
Remember that a Helping Professionals Directory is available to you on the conference website that lists mental health professionals, spiritual directors, and coaches. You will come to an article about choosing the right person for you, and the link to the actual directory is embedded in the first paragraph. And remember that you are loved, prayed for, and held in God’s arms.
Blessings to you all, my friends.
Sue Magrath is a spiritual director and the author of several books. Her previous career spanned fourteen years in the mental health field, where many of her clients were victims/survivors of child sexual abuse and/or sexual assault.