The last couple of months have been different for all of us, and the difference in my ministry is part of it. My hours worked were nearly doubled by the end of April. The proportions are normal, with the highest number of hours spent on sermons and worship services, including my participation in all the Zoom services for NIUU. Pastoral care time and time spent on church administration have nearly doubled, too. Time spent on wider church and community activities have been closer to normal, despite my learning curve with Zoom, which, as you can observe, is ongoing. 🙂 I’m not worried about the increased hours. The work time will most likely balance out with the fewer hours expected of me in the summer months of July and August. I’m immensely grateful for the ways we can stay in touch through Zoom and social media, despite this period of necessary physical distance.

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
- Henri J.M. Nouwen

Father Henri J.M. Nowen is the author of the Wounded Healer - Ministry in Contemporary Society.

He was himself truly a wounded healer. As a Roman Catholic priest who died in 1996, he struggled with his homosexuality. He was willing to be open about his struggles in his journals and conversations in order to help others.

His powerful example of a heart for others can serve us well in this time of a pandemic. While we struggle to encourage each other to show compassion in small ways like mask-wearing, we can be encouraged by the example of great souls like Father Nouwen.

Pastor Fred's previous sermons can be found by clicking on the link below.