Executive Minister's Desk

The Regional Synod of New York


The role of being a minister has become more emotionally demanding than ever before. Given the tremendous responsibility that is placed on the shoulders of Ministers, it is helpful to focus our pastoral duty around the clock. Like never before, pastors are faced with meeting compliances not only in our churches but Cities and Counties regulations as well. The long hours and weight of accountability and responsibility that often comes with walking alongside people through the challenging issues faced in the life of church members and residents in the community, the unannounced visits for help amidst family’s commitments is time consuming and often overwhelming.

Pastors are faced daily with loss, sickness, poverty, failures, bias, bullying and violence in our church community. As they seek rest, often within just an hour alone, pastors might find themselves advocating for members experiencing homelessness, counseling another, anxieties, and then confronting a family issue whose loved one is sick in the hospital.

Meanwhile, the overarching goal to ensure holistic growth can feel overwhelming just at the point of summer rest. No matter how meaningful our work can be we all need rest at some point despite unwavering dedication, we are no doubt exhausted this time of the year as we barrel ahead towards summer.

As your Executive Minister, I encourage you to seek a summer break for much-needed physical and mental rest. Consider organizing a spiritual retreat or perhaps finding time for quiet reflection and prayer as a time for spiritual renewal. Explore visit to museums and national parks to deepen your relationship with God. Engage in activities you enjoy outside of the church or institutional ministry. Whether it is reading, hiking, gardening, golf, or fill-in-the-blank – make time for hobbies and activities that rejuvenate you.

At the end of the Summer, As Ministers of Word and Sacrament, together as a Regional Synod, we can refine new rhythms and opportunities in prioritizing mental and emotional health of our church leadership, ensuring that our churches and church leadership will be able to thrive in the new church year as we embrace this time to rest, connect, reflect, and explore new wonders in the proclamation of the Gospel Message.

Have a Blessed Summer! You deserve it,

Rev. Dr. Micheal Edwards, Executive Minister