Urban legend is that pastors only work one hour a week. I find that hysterical, as does probably every person to ever work in a church.
4:40 a.m. - Alarm goes off. I had meant to get up early enough to re-write the last paragraph of my sermon. I don't much care for what I have written.
4:56 a.m. - Wake up, resolve to stay awake, and read PostSecret. It is a Sunday morning ritual, of sorts.
5:10 a.m. - Fire up the computer. Re-read sermon, make a few edits (left the last paragraph alone, for the most part), upload to dropbox, and make sure that file opens on my tablet.
5:40 a.m. - Begin to get ready. This particular Sunday includes putting on my clerical collar. The clergy staff at King Avenue United Methodist Church (KA) has taken this on as our collective Lenten Discipline.
6:40 a.m. - Arrive at church. I check on the family that is experiencing homelessness that KA has been hosting for the week through the interfaith hospitality network. J, a 4 year old, flies down the stairs to hug me. Mom is not happy to be awake yet. I can't say that I blame her.
7:00 a.m. - Hunt coffee. Am successful.
7:10 a.m. - Pre-worship touch base with KA pastors. We divide up announcements, double check details of the order of worship, and usually catch up about what we did on Saturday night.
7:40 a.m. - Head down the the worship space. Greet ushers, top off coffee, check in on Foursquare (I'm the mayor... gotta protect my domain). J finds Chris, our music director, and gets a behind the scenes tour of the drum set and tambourine. J is adorable, and has now hugged every single person in the worship space.
8:00 a.m. - Early risers worship begins. I'm preaching. I don't particularly love my sermon, but I always love presiding at communion.
8:45 a.m. - Early risers worship concludes and we make transitions for Morning Blend service. I switch from coffee to water. Pastor John corrects a few of the details that I spaced on during announcements. They're correct the next time.
9:15 a.m. - Morning Blend worship begins. Sermon is better this time, but communion is still the highlight.
10:00 a.m. - Head upstairs to drop off stuff, recoup before next worship service, and touch base with a few folks. There's a meeting I'm supposed to be in, but a pastoral care follow-up arises.
11:00 a.m. - Traditional worship begins. For most of this service I get to sit and enjoy worship while my awesome colleagues lead. Linda and John are such incredible Pastors. I see them both get emotional at a particularly moving moment in our congregation's life. I do head up serving communion at the "back" station.
12:00 p.m. - Worship ends. I try to get to my noon meeting as promptly as I can. I am so thankful that the lay leader of this group is always thoughtful enough to bring snacks. Communion wasn't enough to keep my stomach from growling until then.
12:40 p.m. - Wrap up my mission leads meeting. I quickly head over to drama practice for Maundy Thursday. I get to play the part of Philip. I don't have my monologue memorized, but I'm working on it! I take a moment to be thankful for the leadership of the laity in my congregation. Some of them have been at church as long as I have today!
1:30 p.m. - Walking out of church with my partner. He's lucky that I have restraint. I was so hungry I could have eaten his arm off.
2:30 p.m. - After snarfing Chipotle, I head to the gym. I bang out a rough mile run, then hit the elliptical for a bit. Sunday workouts are usually short, but I'm glad that I got it done.
4:30 p.m. - Head back to church for our healing service. It is my first time at KA's Lenten Healing service. Before the prelude, I quickly run upstairs to make sure the room is set for our IHN family to stay for their final night. I always know we only get to host them for a week, but I've so enjoyed getting to know these women.
6:00 p.m. - After a moving service (and having communion for the 4th time), I head to dinner. G and I have decided that we'll hit one of our favorite eateries in the Short North. I'm still wearing my clerical collar. This isn't a usual thing for me, so I'm surprised when I sit down and the server says, "What's with the priest get-up?" We laugh it off, but I can tell he's a little embarrassed. I'm a little uncomfortable with the attention that the collar attracts. Does that ever go away? This is my 5th year serving as clergy, but I can count the times I've worn my collar outside the church on one hand.
7:30 p.m. - Nope. Walking through the aisle's at Kroger I'm still getting looks. I'll claim that I'm probably over-analyzing.
8:30 p.m. - Home. Stretchy pants on, collar off. Long day.
9:30 p.m. - Engage in my favorite Sunday night ritual: turn off the alarm for Monday. A blissful Sabbath awaits..
(A week in the life is a blog series I'm writing to share what a normal week in the life of this pastor looks like. I serve as the Minister of Discipleship and Mission at King Avenue UMC in Columbus, Ohio.)