Blog Posts

Clergy Excellence

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 ...

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, ...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: The Missing Piece

Rev. Shelly Petz


It was January 7. I only remember the date because it was the day after Epiphany when I had an epiphany moment. I was out walking around my neighborhood, basically to try and shake out some unsettled things within me. I had been stewing over my health, work stuff, family, life. I knew that often a walk really helps clear my head and gets me in a better space. It was a beautiful 60 degree day, so I headed outside. After awhile of walking and spewing out all the things that were taking my mental ...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: Faith and Wellness Initiative

Rev. Shelly Petz


Clergy of the Great Plains Conference, Thank you to those who planned for and participated in the recent Great Plains Orders and Fellowship meeting. The vulnerability, strength, honesty and encouragement from the presenters, workshop leaders, Bishop Saenz and Rev. Dr. Kevass Harding, and the overwhelming hospitality that was offered throughout created an atmosphere of welcome and investment in the clergy of the conference.  I experienced that clergy felt cared for, listened to, and inspired to ...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: Health for body and soul

Rev. Shelly Petz


Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 3 John 1:2 (NRSV) Friends, I do indeed pray for you. Ministry is an incredible calling, and responsibility. Many of you have just led others through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and now are living in the season after Epiphany. We have before us the realities of what it means that God has come to live with us and among us. Some people make resolutions at the beginning...

Summer in Sarpy County by Spenser Johnson

Great Plains Interns


           As summer began, and I was starting my internship as a Pastoral Intern at Springfield First United Methodist Church in Springfield, Nebraska, I was not prepared for the experiences God was about to bless me with. I distinctly remember requesting to be placed with a church in an inner-city area with an urban environment. I have a degree in criminal justice and sociology so I was so ready to work with a marginalized group in society like the impoverished, homeless, gang members, and ...

Reviving a Youth Ministry - Part 2

Transition into Ministry Program


In Bill Gepford's previous blog the TiM associate pastor at Colby (Kanasa) UMC, shared how and why he started a youth program at Colby UMC. In this second of a two-blog series, Gepford explains the steps he took in preparation of the youth ministry kick off. I arrived shortly before July 1. These are the steps we took between July 1 and August 22 (the start of school and correlating kickoff of youth programming). You can take longer or shorter for this, but I'd plan on at least 50 hours spread ...

Reviving a Youth Ministry - Part 1

Transition into Ministry Program


Bill Gepford is currently serving as a TiM associate pastor at Colby United Methodist Church, Colby, Kansas (2013-2015). Bill Gepford, TiM associate pastor at Colby (Kansas) UMC, shares how and why he started a youth program at Colby UMC. In this first of a two blog series, Gepford explains why he started the program and what he did once the program was in place. My Story: I serve as the Transition into Ministry associate at Colby United Methodist Church.  Even before I arrived in Colby, I got ...

Page 2 of 4 previous 1 2 3 4 next