Blog Posts

Clergy Excellence

Remembering your call

Rev. Shelly Petz


In the world of United Methodist clergy, July marks beginnings for some.   New appointments. New retirements. New ministerial status. New appointive year, even if you are staying in the same appointment. New things to think about.   As we enter into July, I invite you to remember your call. It matters.   I recently went back to the place of my call. It was a literal mountaintop experience. I was by myself when my call occurred. Since then, I have taken different people with me to the holy site. ...

Taking vacation time is part of self-care

Rev. Shelly Petz


Christ is Risen indeed! Clergy of the Great Plains Conference, thank you for your incredible ministry, and especially the intentional work of planning, preparing and leading for Holy Week. Thank you for the multitude of ways you allow God to work through you in all that you do.  I hope that you also have/will take Sabbath time following these Holy Days. Jesus knew the importance of drawing away from the crowds and all of the important demands of ministry to spend time with God. In doing so, he ...

Praying for a miracle

Rev. Shelly Petz


Tell me your story. Or sit in silence. Ask your questions. Or weep and gnash your teeth. Your grief is real and deep. And may look very different than your neighbor’s grief that is real and deep too. When Lazarus died there were Marys. And Marthas. Family members, friends, and strangers.  And Jesus. Jesus wept.  He showed up later than some wanted him to show up.  Yet he showed up. He wept. A miracle unfolded. Today I pray for a miracle. I’m not expecting a miracle in the way it happened then. I...

Mental Health First Aid Training

Rev. Shelly Petz


I took my very first First Aid Training when I was 13 years old.   I took my very first Mental Health First Aid Training last month.   I’m not sure why it took me so long to take the Mental Health First Aid Training. Probably a multitude of factors. I did not know about it. It did not seem as widely available or acceptable. The stigma of mental health. I thought I knew just enough about mental health issues that I knew when to refer congregation members to mental health providers.   What I ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: What path will we take when our bodies break?

Rev. Shelly Petz


What Path Will We Take When Our Bodies Break? What path will we take When our bodies break? Not if, but when, For we are finite and human. It may be a leg or arm, Or something deep having harm. Bodies are fragile and strong Fantastic, awe-filled … and things can go wrong. If you ask me about mine I’ll seek to convince you mine’s just fine. In truth, there is more to the story, Will I use it to tell of God’s glory? I often wonder how much of you I know I wonder if there is more that doesn’t ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Lent for pastors who have given up everything already

Rev. Shelly Petz


They have given up hospital visits because no one was allowed in. They have given up time with family, friends, colleagues, parishioners, and community partners.  They have given up presiding over huge wedding celebrations because numbers for gatherings have been limited. They have given up funerals and grief work as they knew it.  They have given up rituals in their own lives and in their communities of faith that mark mountain top journeys and valleys of deaths. They have given up full ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Our roles as pastors, priests and prophets

Rev. Shelly Petz


How is it with your soul? I continue to find my soul needs more and more tending the more and more stress, change, anxiety, fear, chaos, and questions I experience.  I find in order to do this tending, I need more and more prayer, discernment, and intentional Sabbath. We are in a liminal season. Where we know what has happened but we do not yet know what is coming. This is true in terms of the pandemic, in terms of political divide, in terms of a multitude of things before us. Please give time ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Seasons of health and wholeness

Rev. Shelly Petz


Thank you, Great Plains Clergy, for the multitude of ways you continue to live out your call to ministry. The stories of what is unfolding of how God is at work in and through you and those around you are incredible. Christ's light is shining in abundant measure because of you.   I also see some clergy who are exhausted. You have been putting in so many hours in your preparations for Advent, decisions that must be made, grief work that is before you, and ministering to and with your mission ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Pondering the faith, wellness connection

Rev. Shelly Petz


 I have been thinking about faith and wellness a lot lately.   I've wondered:  how my faith affects my wellness,  how my faith affects the wellness of others, how my wellness affects my faith,  how my wellness affects the faith of others, how my faith affects my faith,  how my faith affects the faith of others,  how my wellness affects my wellness,  and how my wellness affects the wellness of others.   It is this last one that has really invited me to pause and think deeply. My own wellness ...

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

Rev. Shelly Petz


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. ...

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