Clergy Faith and Wellness: Moving as a spiritual discipline

Rev. Shelly Petz


I am not a big fan of moving. Growing up, I moved one time, from in-town to out-of-town. I didn’t have to leave friends, my church, or my community.

Then I was ordained and agreed to live into this new life of itinerancy, which I had no idea what exactly that would mean. I didn’t know that with each move I would experience varying levels of depression for several months. I didn’t know that with each move I would have to explore more deeply what it was that I needed for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.  

Last year, I took the opportunity to explore moving as a spiritual discipline. Sometimes a person can choose spiritual disciplines that foster their relationship with God. Sometimes spiritual disciplines choose you. This was a spiritual discipline that chose me. For me, seeing moving as a spiritual discipline changed how I entered into every aspect of the move from the announcement, to packing, to goodbyes, to wilderness, to hellos. It didn’t make moving any easier. What it did do was invited me to find the holiness in every encounter. 

This is the season for many pastoral transitions. For clergy and congregations who walk this journey, I pray. May the power of the Holy Spirit work within you so that you may walk in ways that lead to life.

Grace and peace,

Rev. Shelly Petz
Clergy Faith and Wellness