Sunday, January 15, 2006

From the Pastoral Notebook

The only way I survive Sunday nights begins on Sunday afternoons. I take a pastoral nap. I come home dragging from worship. I careen into our driveway, stomp through the kitchen door, scan the kitchen to see how much damage has been done in my absence, throw myself into comfortable clothing and go to sleep. I am dead to the world for two hours. After this, I can handle Sunday nights.

I missed the MLK Jr. Coast Celebration this afternoon due to sleepiness. I regret missing events like this but if I don't nap, I can't function.

"Why is this?" you ask my tired out ol' pastoral self. It's because leading worship and preaching takes it out of me. I am drained of all useful life after the worship service. I felt the same way when I preached twice each Sunday.

So, as a gift to your pastor (all you non-clergy folks) please don't ask them to do much on Sunday afternoon or evening. Leave 'em alone to re-charge.

No matter how much I love you, I don't want to go to your baby shower, church event, sports thingie or anything. Let me sleep.

Pastorally Refreshed at This Moment,

St. Casserole


cheesehead said...

AMEN, sister! Sometimes I end up taking a nap, sometimes not, but my family has learned that I will not schlep or do errends on Sunday. My relaxation routine starts with the Sunday paper, which I always read in a particular order, wearing comfy clothes, in my favorite chair.

Songbird said...

First, thank you for saying this. It's good to know that others feel all the juice has gone out of them.
Would someone kindly explain this to *my* family?
Yesterday I did manage to have a lie-down in between driving The Princess to a study date and later a sleepover. I didn't exactly go to sleep, but I did rest. And it was good.

Quotidian Grace said...

It has always puzzled me that our church has insisted on having all committee meetings, including session, on Sunday nights. I've always thought that this must be really exhausting for the pastors and have noticed evidence of this on many occasions. I have raised the issue with the pastors several times but they are loath to initiate any change.

It makes most Sundays a real endurance contest for them since they routinely attend some of the committee meetings as well as session. Perhaps because they are both men they fear being seen as wussies if they tried to initiate a change.

I think that having session on a day other than Saturday and having more of the committee meetings spread over the week would improve the quality of the meetings and give the pastors a break.

Friday Mom said...

Sunday afternoon naps never had so much meaning to me as they did when I was a pastor, preaching every Sunday and teaching Sunday School. After it was over, I'd go home, eat a peanut butter sandwich, crawl into bed and sleep soundly for two hours.

Good for you for giving yourself Sunday afternoon to recharge.

thankyoudarlin said...

So right, so right! It makes me wonder . . . are there any pastors out ther who don't crash on Sunday afternoons?

Aola said...

I've always wondered why churches do two services on Sunday. Who came up with that tradition?

Preacher Mom said...

Amen, Amen, and AMEN!!!

Sue said...

Amen! I have a similar routine. As soon as I get home from Sunday morning worship, I change my clothes, collect up two cats and collapse on the bed for a long nap -- usually two hours or more. I think it's an introvert thing -- all that people energy on a Sunday morning just taps me out and I need the sleep to re-energize.

SingingOwl said...

Well, I'm with the rest of you. I usually wake up Sunday a.m. feeling mild dread. I don't know why that is, since I do love church, but I always have a vague sense of inadequacy that hits on Sunday morning. I ALWAYS want to crawl back under the covers. After church I crash too, and it seems the norm is two hours. Wow. Here I thought I was a slug for sleeping so long on a Sunday afternoon! How can doing something I love so much (I do get over the a.m. uneasiness once I get to the church building) cause such exhaustion?

Dr Moose said...

I must be the one "afternoon" pastor, then!

4.30pm on a Sunday afternoon works well for children and families here and is my main service.

That doesn't make it any easier sometimes though! Innovation is hard work. Sometimes I find it best cover an 8am somewhere, do my regular 10am and just keep going through to 4.30 and beyond. But my Monday day off starts at 6.30pm Sunday!

April said...

Yes! You are so right! I am dead tot the world until I have my nap. A REAL nap of about 2 hours. Wonderful. Thanks for telling it like it is! (I found you through Telling Truth's awesome blog)