Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Do YOU Do In The Summer?

As most readers of this blog know, I provide chaplaincy services at the BC Legislature.  Because most of what I is based on a ministry of presence, I’m often asked what I do in the summer.  To be honest, I used to dread the question because it felt like I needed to justify my time through the summer.  However, over the past few summers, I’ve come to accept that summer is an opportunity for me to recharge, refocus and reach out. 

Life and ministry is very demanding when the legislature is in session. It’s not uncommon to go for multiple weeks with very little time off.  Between weekdays at the legislature, weekends visiting churches and just the general stuff I need to do to run a ministry (administration, donor relations, fundraising, etc.), there’s not a lot of time left for anything else.  By the time the session ends, I’m as eager to come up for air as the MLA’s are. 
One of our best fundraising ideas has been the IronMan of Golf event.  We use the money raised from the event to connect with MLA’s through the summer.  This summer, I’ve already made several trips to Vancouver and one into the Interior to connect with members.  Those are usually very relaxed visits, as the pressure of the next meeting isn’t as intense. Where possible, I’ve been able to connect MLA’s with local pastors and ministry leaders.  It’s been exciting to watch key leaders begin to build relationships that can have a huge impact in their community.  One of my highlights is also meeting office staff and connecting with them.  In many cases, these are the people I chat with via email as I set up visits in Victoria and in the constituency offices.

I’m also doing something new this summer.  I’m on the “Can you come and say grace at my fundraiser?” tour.  It’s been a great way to support MLA’s and meet new people.  Sometimes it’s golf, sometimes it’s dinner, but it’s always interesting.  There’s always someone who wants to know more about our work and what I do, which gives the trip double value.
I also use the summer to read, plan, prepare, write and think, although not always in that order.  Sometimes, thinking is best done at the beach, on a run or while I ride my motorcycle.  I’m also working on some new teaching material for the fall that I hope to release in CD format.  It’s something new for us, but I think you’ll enjoy it. 

Finally, summer is a time to rest.  We are taking some vacation time to soak up the sun, play on the beach and watch a few baseball games. It’s always good – and important! – to spend time with Barb and the kids.

Hope you are having a great summer!

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