Preparing a Parish Report

Preparing the parish report for 2012 gave me the opportunity to reflect on the past year and consider what my goals are for 2013.

Ministry moves year to year with a consistency of purpose. I am a pastor. I proclaim the law and the gospel. I administer the sacraments. I visit the sick and homebound. I equip the saints of God to do the work of the ministry. Year to year there are constants in this ministry. We are sinners in thought, word and deed. We are saints according the righteousness of Christ. In the tension between those two we live our daily lives.

I read an article on slate.com yesterday about what a person should do everyday they are in the hospital. Andrew Young Shin wrote about how to survive your hospitalization. His second point about the necessity of communication especially was of interest to me. He said,

Each day, in a notebook, review the following with your physician:

  • How am I doing? (daily assessment)
  • What’s my goal for today? (daily plan)

By writing this down in a notebook there can be a consistency of care even while the number of people involved in care is constantly changing.

Two days ago I started a prayer/gratitude journal. This journal is an assignment. But even in two days I have struggled with writer’s block. What should I write in a journal? So much in my life does not change and what does happen everyday seems at times trivial to what should be placed into words. But then I read these two questions that a person should ask everyday they are in a hospital and I found what I can write about in my prayer/gratitude journal. I will give myself a daily assessment and a daily plan. I will make sure these two issues are central to my prayers. Any assessment I do of myself and any plan I have for the day must spring from what God is doing in His Word for me. I hope this will help my writer’s block.

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