Executive Minister's Desk

The Regional Synod of New York

Resting in Change

Dear RSNY Church Family and Friends,

As many of you know, COVID-19 caused many of us to change the way we serve in Christian Ministry. Our profession as Ministers of Word and Sacrament, Specialized Ministers, Chaplains, and Commissioning Pastors demands an elevated level of dedication and time, often at the expense of personal well-being and work expectations. Remoting Work and virtual are seen as a new model for doing and communicating in the Christian Ministry. This has changed our focus to communicate effectively on a new level and method of preaching and reaching others with the Word of God.

While remote work is supposedly more accessible and flexible, often it has not allowed for time balance approaches in managing church administration and planning to nurture Christian Formation for our Congregation and Consistory. In many cases, our workload has doubled because we feel the inability to say no to all the Zoom commitments from our church communities, Ecumenical and interfaith partnerships, commission work, and Worship services during the week on Zoom, Virtual media, and conference calls. Add to this the usual interruptions and unexpected visitation it all lead to less time to provide quality pastoral Care services, seek alternative strategic planning in completing all the challenges faced by the church of Jesus Christ and time to pull away to be refreshed.

In reality, this change is the new norm. As I serve as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, I seek to examine new approaches to the demanding roles to avoid becoming Zoomed out and experiencing mental and physical burnout syndrome while serving God’s Church.

During anticipated changes in policies or priorities in the church, misunderstandings and stresses are likely to occur, especially when examining new technical communication changes. When pastors and church leaders make strategic decisions, communicating these new directives and norms effectively is crucial. Even so, some church members may struggle to accommodate the changes when we introduce in-person or virtual worshipping opportunities.

As a pastor, some members are more likely to resist change than others. “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29:25). Only God provides security in a changing world!


Rev. Dr. Micheal Edwards, Executive Minister