Over the years, different Pastors have had different habits about
where they work, and where their people could find them.
Members of our congregation still remember the days when they
would go and "announce" for communion to Pastor Bradac in the
front room of the parsonage. Other pastors have used other areas
as their main work space. During the vicarage years, the room
marked "pastor's office" was established as the "place" to find the .
man doing ministry at St Paul. I've kept that custom going, and I'm
still working on making that office an inviting, comfortable
environment where you and I can meet, discuss, pray, and plan
(please excuse the pile in the corner ...I'm working on it!).
In addition to place, time is also an important factor for the
relationship between Pastor and people. People need to know not
just where they can find their pastor, but when. Pastors also need
to be good stewards of their ministry time, since it's not really "my
time" that I spend in ministry, but as your servant in Christ
(minister!), I have to regulate my ministry time according to the
needs of the congregation. For that reason, some congregations
and Pastors have the habit of "office hours."
It's been said that a Pastor wears a collar for the same reason
that a dog does: I've got a Master, Christ; and He has given me a
job: serve you with the gifts (Word and Sacrament) that He
bought for you with His blood. It's also been said about the good
Pastor that when he's in his study, he feels guilty about not being
out with the people; and when he's out with the people, he feels
guilty about not being in his study. I'm not sure that I have enough
experience under my belt for anyone to decide if I'm a "good"
Pastor or not, but that pull between what happens in the building
and what happens outside the building is a part of my life I'm
having to learn to manage.
Here's how it usually plays out during a normal week. Tuesday
through Friday, I'm usually in and out of the office from about 9am
to about 5pm. I prep for Sunday services, for classes (Bible study,
confirmation, adult instruction, etc), plan meetings, make phone
calls, etc. I also visit shut-ins, follow up with visitors, visit the
hospital, try to get a few member visits in each month, etc.
Saturdays are a bit more open-ended, but Sundays are quite full
(three services, two Bible studies, two languages). My goal is
always be where I am needed, doing the job Christ has given
me, which is serving you.
This means I always have time for you. If you are a member of
St Paul, then it is my job, to the best of my ability, to be where you
need me as your Pastor, when you need your Pastor there.
For the past months, I've had the habit of keeping anywhere from
8 to 12 office hours a week, and these have been published in the
Sunday bulletin. In order to use my time more efficiently and with
greater flexibility, I've decided to reduce this amount somewhat. I
will still have "office hours" published in the bulletin, and if you
stop by the church on a given weekday (Tuesday thru Friday),
there's still a good chance I'll be there, even if I don't have office
hours scheduled. If I'm in the office, I'm happy to spend time with
you. If I'm not in the office, I'm happy to schedule time with you
when I can be.
The best way to contact me is my cell phone 219.713.1604. The number is
published in the bulletin every week for you to use. If I miss the
call, I will call you back. If you're into texting, you can text me at
that number as well. If you need me in the office during the
evening, after work, that can be arranged. If you need me in your
home or at the hospital, I'm happy to go there as well. That's what
I'm here for.