There is an adage in the running community:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

I, like so many of you, have been encouraged by the solidarity of many even while we are physically distant from one another. While this season of life has been challenging both as a leader at Linworth and as a person who is muddling through life, I have been most encouraged by the staff here and my support people. When I’m having a hard day, there is always a person who is having a “strong day” to talk me out of my sadness or to comfort me in my frustration. And on the days when I am feeling “strong” I get to be that for another person. We are not alone.

That said, this week I was surprised to see a mandate from Bishop Laurie Haller of the Iowa Episcopal Area. She mandated that all clergy, staff, and worship teams find 3 consecutive days off between May 1 and May 31 to refresh tired bodies, minds, and spirits.

As privileged as I am to lead alongside excellent staff and volunteers to make our live-streamed worship service run smoothly, as I walked out this Sunday I realized how tired I was. I know from conversations with staff that I am not alone. We do truly consider it a blessing to serve, but we have been working in such a different way than any of us know.

I will be checking with our worship staff and volunteers to ensure that they are getting the rest and time off that they need, but in conversation with Pastor Matt, we are confident that we can do this in a way that does not interrupt your worship experience, understanding the weekly touch points that worship via live-stream provides for you. I had planned on being out of the office attending the United Methodist General Conference from May 4-16, but since that conference’s postponement, I will be shifting that already free time on the calendar to some stay-cation time from May 10-17. Pastor Matt has made some shifts to his “regularly scheduled paternity leave” so that we can ensure all staff get the time off that they need. While he will be the Pastor-on-call during that time, please be aware that he (like all of our staff) is still planning to work remotely and is balancing family/work life.

As chatter begins to occur about re-opening regular functions, please know that your staff and leaders are carefully considering the ways that we will live together in Christian community. We will do our best to communicate plans as we make them, but we know that it will still be quite some time before things feel normal. Until then, reach out if you have questions, pray for this community of faith that you call home, support ministry however you can wherever you are, and keep yourself safe and well.

Draw the Circle Wide,
~ Rev. Anna Guillozet ~
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Senior Pastor