Blog Posts

Clergy Excellence

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. ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: You are not alone

Rev. Shelly Petz


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, ...

Clergy faith and wellness: I wept

Rev. Shelly Petz


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 ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: a gift for you

Rev. Shelly Petz


It is December in a local church.   A parishioner was recently diagnosed with cancer.  A friend began in hospice care. A teacher was killed in a car accident, due to icy road conditions. There are 27 Christmas programs, worship services, or events to plan, attend, and manage. There are two weddings and six funerals. There is grief, pain, sorrow, anxiety, and loss. That of the congregation, and your own.   And... Clergy are expected to bring God's word of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace.   In this ...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: address your stress

Rev. Shelly Petz


"I just can't do it anymore," — a statement made by a clergy colleague.  Maybe you've made the statement at some point in ministry, as well. There are times when being clergy is an incredible gift, an honor, a calling that exceeds any expectation.   There are times when being clergy is exhausting, overwhelming, and frustrating. The results of the 2019 Clergy Well-Being survey conducted by Wespath were recently shared. Did you notice it said, "Stress continues to be a factor, with notable ...

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