Tomorrow is another meeting of our monthly male clergy peer group. This gathering is a unique blend and I think that's why we're on our sixth year. About half of the players have changed over the last six years. However, the reason why we meet isn't because it can be mandated, but rather, it fills an important need that any other group does not provide.
In all of our time together, we seek to receive what we're continually offering to others, parishioners especially: confidentiality, wisdom, listening and being heard, confession, affirmation, intercession, and our hallmark, no whining. That last one is just a way we have of keeping our focus on our growth as individuals and a group. Because we all travel distances to meet, our time together is too valuable to waste or to allow it to fall off into a gripe session.
It all comes down to this: we cannot offer what we don't have! If there's no sabbath time, then we're absent more and more from everyone- ourselves and our God included! Superhuman clergy is a myth perpetuated in the pastor's job description if not the seminary classroom. But in peer group, boy wonder's skin is shed regularly for something that truly fits- even if it's with the help of age, experience, and wisdom.