Blog Posts


Clergy Faith and Wellness: how is it with my soul?

Rev. Shelly Petz

5/27/2020

Today on my calendar, I, like many of you, would have been attending the opening day of Annual Conference of the Great Plains Conference. I have been attending Annual Conference since I was 14 years old. It is a part of me. It is family. It is home. It is where laity and clergy come together to worship, remember, dream, sing, do business, learn, and connect. I love that it is part revival, part continuing education, part business meeting. It is where I began to find my voice so many years ago. ...


Pray for a better world post-pandemic

Lay Servant Ministries

5/26/2020

Amid this unsettling time of pandemic and the multitude of emotions we are experiencing, as Lay Servants let's join together (virtually of course) to focus on turning a negative (Pandemic) into positives. Everyone is welcome to join the journey … Pause often to Praise God Adapt to a new normal way of being and doing Nurture your Spirit Do something kind for someone else each day Explore new ways of doing things Move forward in faith knowing you will experience ups & downs Identify using your ...


Clergy Faith & Wellness: You are not alone

Rev. Shelly Petz

5/11/2020

One in five people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. May is Mental Health Month. Most of the clergy that I have talked with in the past two months have experienced challenges that affect their mental health and well-being. If you are experiencing a mental health challenge, you are not alone. If you, or someone you know is experiencing a mental health challenge, or if you just need a mental health check-in or boost, I invite you to join with the Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford, ...


We Need to Adjust Our Vision

Lay Servant Ministries

5/11/2020

My late husband and I spent many of our summer vacations in northern Colorado and took many sight-seeing drives in the Rocky Mountains. In Rocky Mountain National Park, when you get to the Trail Ridge Visitor Center, you’re still not at the top. You can walk, rather climb on foot, another 500 feet which doesn’t look far but really is. From the top you can see almost to the ends of the earth. From the top of the tundra, we could see down to the trees, past rocky terrain dotted with glacier lakes,...


Grief and the COVID-19 crisis

Lay Servant Ministries

4/28/2020

I recently read an article on the internet (so you know it must be true!) from Harvard Business Review that referenced our emotions in this time of COVID-19. Some of their staff recently met virtually, a screen full of faces in a scene becoming more common everywhere. They talked of many COVID-related things and emotions, but one mentioned that what she was feeling was grief...and there were a lot of nodding faces. If we can name it, perhaps we can manage it. David Kessler, in his book “On ...


Clergy faith and wellness: I wept

Rev. Shelly Petz

4/20/2020

I didn't know I had so many tears. Today I took a walk, because I know the importance of physical activity, especially in the midst of stress and distress. I wept. I wept as I walked by the house of my son's music teacher, knowing that tonight would have been his school music program, in which he had the lead. I wept as I walked by the house of the basketball coach, because I do not know when students will play sports together again. I wept as I walked by the house of my daughter's band ...


What is the real reach of your church's online worship?

Todd Seifert

4/15/2020

I remember an older gentleman who counted the number of people in attendance each week at the church my wife served as music director in Springfield, Missouri. It was the late 1990s, and he was in his 90s, but as the first hymn wrapped up, he would walk to the end of each row, starting at the very front, and count meticulously. He then would go to the other side and follow the same procedure. It’s safe to say that church had an accurate count nearly every week because of his care and attention....


Clergy Faith & Wellness: Surviving -- one day at a time

Rev. Shelly Petz

4/6/2020

The list of responsibilities these past few weeks has been ever-growing, ever-changing. It has opened up times to think about new opportunities. For me, I have also been overwhelmed. I have found myself in the midst of moments with renewed creativity and exploring uncharted waters. I have found myself in tears as I crumble to the floor exhausted. I have experienced, as maybe you have, the best and worst of humanity. There is deep faith. There is great fear. At the end of each day, I crawl into ...


How do we meet the needs of our lay servants during this time of social distancing?

Lay Servant Ministries

4/1/2020

In the Great West District in Nebraska, we are looking at trying to use Zoom to hold a class that was originally scheduled and needs to be completed before June due to our pastor being moved to another district. The lay servants are wanting to take the class with this pastor and CLS. One of our main concerns is the time frame of the class. We do know that we do not want to do this in the weekend format as we have found most adults have shorter attention spans when using technology than face to ...


Clergy Faith & Wellness: Give yourself permission to grieve

Rev. Shelly Petz

3/24/2020

Clergy,   It is OK to give yourself permission to grieve. At an unprecedented time of facing a pandemic, many people are experiencing various stages of grief ... denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, meaning-making. (See works by Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler for more related to stages of grief.) There is also anticipatory grief, grief that comes when we understand that there is so much more that we do not yet know or understand, and we anticipate more grief to come.   As ...


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