April 2021 ~ Easter Letter

Greetings, to my partners in ministry and co-workers in the faith,

Easter is almost here! Soon, voices will be joining in that old familiar chorus we often say on Easter, “Christ has risen, He has risen indeed”.  In these words we find hope, and assurance, perhaps this year more than others.  As we celebrate Resurrection Sunday, may we also search for re-birth and renewal of our souls and spirits.

Together over the last year, we have navigated things like finding new ways to do pastoral care, learning new ways to use technology, and walking with our congregations as we discovered new ways to be the church. For many, we had to find new ways to do Course of Study or theological school. Bi-vocational pastors faced different challenges, balancing church and secular responsibilities. We’ve all navigated changes within the church and annual conferences with our congregations.  Perhaps more so than any time in ministry, this season was overwhelming yet exhilarating, exhausting yet celebratory.  And now we enter another season.

I believe that the extended season of Easter invites us to take time to reflect, rejoice, and experience the joy and meaning of those words, “Christ has risen”.

Might I suggest you take time to celebrate all that God has enabled you to do by taking time to engage in self-care and restoration of your soul and spirit during these 50 days of Easter?   That will look different for each of us, but here are some practical suggestions:

  • Eat well. If you’re working from home, step away from your computer to eat.
  • Set times to turn your phone or computer off and be present with your family.
  • Schedule a ‘date night’ with your partner, or make time for friends and family.
  • If you’re feeling tired, or overwhelmed, take a vacation week. If you don’t have pulpit supply available, be honest with your DS or District Lay Servant Ministry Director and find that person who can be available to fill in.
  • Go for a walk if you’re able. If you can’t, then open your door or window and get some fresh air.
  • Make ‘me time’ for a hobby or good book.
  • Set boundaries and say ‘no’ to some things. (One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from my DS.  He said, “not every ‘yes’ is a good ‘yes’.  That has given me permission to say “I could agree to do that, but….{My heart wouldn’t be in it, I’m not gifted in that way, etc} and it wouldn’t be successful.)
  • Utilize a spiritual director, find a trusted prayer partner, or small group, and be accountable.

I’m sure there are others, but whatever good self-care and renewal time for you might look like, I pray you do this for you.   I am reminded of these words, from The Message 2 Cor. 4:16-18

 “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever”.

These days of change and challenge are simply preparing us for the hope and the harvest that lies ahead.  May you be rested and ready!

In grace and peace,

Bev Roscoe, Associate Member

NFAMLP Secretary

Serving the South Fayette Cooperative Parish

Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference