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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Things have been on the quiet side around here lately. It is summer after all, and several of us have been off to reunions and camps. Some have even had some vacation time! The phone rings less frequently and when it does there is often some surprise on the other end of the line as callers expect to be greeted by the message system. While they are usually (but not always) pleased to have a “real” person, one gets the impression that they really wouldn’t mind if they have to wait a bit to get the response they’re after. It is summer after all.

I’ve noticed a couple of the messages I did receive ended with the disclaimer: “we’re leaving for two weeks, so I don’t need that information until we get back” and “there’s no hurry on this one; whenever you get a chance. I’ll be on holiday until…”

Of course there are many things that are not so quiet. There are riots in England; there are economic crises everywhere. Births and deaths and personal catastrophes go on as usual. Even the summer season brings concern as droughts and famines and floods and earthquakes don’t take holidays.

But I noted with interest, one of the “experts” called by the radio news person to give comment about the London riots explained that “she’d been on vacation and not following events too closely” and was thus not entirely prepared to give an opinion on that specific event.

There does seem to be a seasonal rhythm that just happens. Is it a built-in need that human beings and human systems need? It really appears to be impossible to operate on full-speed all the time. Sometimes we just need to slow down, take some quiet time, observe a sabbath. It’s one of the principles we try to recognize here on our team. We’ve had it brought urgently to our attention that if you keep running too fast, too far and too long, your own body will shut your down whether you like it or not. It’s a lesson we work hard at helping each other to remember.

So here’s my point; or at least one possible point. It’s likely much better to plan for these quiet times than to have them thrust upon you. And the planning may incorporate a way to ensure that someone is at least “on call” for those times when urgent life also happens. Otherwise we find ourselves all lost and at sea when the call just can’t wait.

Congregations that regularly shut down for the summer may find it very difficult to get back into an “all systems GO” stage come autumn. By all means take your vacations, but make sure you’ve got your bases covered and are ready to move back into (what Carman has called) making your Mission Real status when the time is right.

Now please excuse me; I want to go put my feet up.

Posted by Marion


  1. What of us who have down time every day? It is hard work to keep from being bored on a daily basis. I can do it but it's not always easy.

  2. Thanks for the reminder. I guess part of my point is that it's important to be aware of our own rhythms and to plan for that. You are doing just that in your comment. You recognize your own daily cycles and your need to deal with them in the most positive way.
    Have I understood you?

  3. You understand but I think you will understand it better when you are retired which will be soon. When you are no longer required to do what you have always done and you can do only so much reading sometimes it is hard to put in the day. Of course there is always housework but who wants do that?

  4. Oh yes, I know what you mean. And of course it was on my mind as I was writing. It's all part of the plan. Thanks for coming back.
    (and housework wasn't anywhere on my list!)


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