Bishop’s Notes – March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

I had a great time away last week, and this morning I was thinking about what makes for a refreshing vacation. No doubt there is a lot more to this, but this is what I’ve come up with this morning as I thought about last week.  It seems to me that there are two big questions that need to be settled and each has several sub-questions:

1) Do I believe that I can be away from my work?
• Have I worked sufficiently to warrant time away or do I know in my heart that I have been underperforming?  Slacking off?  Not really putting out even the minimum?  How do I know that I do “enough” to be away guilt-free?
• Can I spare the time to be away or is there so much that needs to be done that I can’t stop?  If it is the latter, is it time to ask “Why do I over commit?”  Or, is the question more about acknowledging that I need to focus my work habits so that I use my time more efficiently and effectively (i.e. it’s not that I have too much to do; it’s that I need to be more disciplined in the stewardship of my time)?
• Do I believe that my team (hired or volunteer) can care for things while I am away?  I have a great team and it’s wonderful to be able to walk away knowing that they are competent and trustworthy.  But if that wasn’t the case, I’d be asking myself what I need to start to do to develop such people.
• Do I trust God to watch over things while I am away?  Resting appropriately is one of His commandments, and if that isn’t enough to release us to rest from our responsibilities, He is been backed up by provincial legislation and The Manual of the FMCIC! 

2) Do I believe that time to rest is important enough to plan ahead for those break times?
• Have I set out in my schedule when I will take my vacation time in 2009?  What’s the best approach–several weeks together or periodic stopping times throughout the year before or after times of maximum output?
• Do I think about what kind of “break activity” refreshes me?  Do I let others’ expectations set the pace and commitments of my vacation time so that I return physically worn out and emotionally depleted?  Or, on the other hand, do I return disappointed because I planned for nothing and most of the time away I was either bored or frustrated because last minute ideas didn’t work?
• Is this important enough that I figure this into my personal financial budget or do I come back to the regret of credit card debt?

Appropriate self-care involves resting daily, weekly and periodically for longer periods of time.  It’s a gift that God has designed into the creation and one that our churches want us to receive as an express of their love.  (By the way, I don’t have all my 2009 vacation days scheduled yet, but that will get done by the end of the week!)

There are no announcements this week except to say that a few more Annual Reports came in last week.

Have a great week serving Jesus.

Blessings,

Bishop Keith

P.S.  Remember.  If you are wondering about something related to the FMCIC and its ministry, please send your question to [email protected].