Pearls for the Journey: Reclaim Your Gifts
By Rev. Kristen J. Kleiman*
A year before participating in the Pension Boards-United Church of Christ CREDO (PBUCC CREDO) week-long Seminar, I had finished treatment for cancer. There was also a lot of conflict and anxiety in my congregation. I was exhausted and feeling the need for renewal.
PBUCC CREDO examines four areas of interrelated wellness—spiritual, vocational, physical, and financial. Setting goals in each area of wellness set me on the path to better overall health. Looking at my financial health especially freed me from worrying about whether my family would have enough financial resources for retirement or in case of my death, a great concern of mine during treatment.
The “Aha” Moment
I was sitting on the back porch of this lovely little cottage, enjoying God’s creation and writing my CREDO Covenant, a personal growth plan intended to guide participants in the years ahead that will inspire intentional practice. I realized I did not need to do something new in ministry. I needed to go back to the old, to the time when I played and laughed and was creative in ministry. God was calling me to reclaim my gifts for ministry. I’m not sure I would have rediscovered that need if it were not for the PBUCC CREDO process.
Our world is so anxious, and congregations take their stress out on clergy. Clergy need to be healthy and centered so we can role model Christ’s way of love and peace in the face of this anxiety and brokenness.
For the health of our ministries and the health of our ministry settings, we need moments like PBUCC CREDO to step back, reflect on our callings in ministry, and make a plan for the future.
About PBUCC CREDO
PBUCC CREDO is a holistic wellness benefit that offers clergy space and resources to examine significant areas of their lives and discern prayerfully the future direction of their vocation as they respond to God’s call in a lifelong process of practice and transformation.
The CREDO experience is anchored in a week-long Seminar and includes a pre-Seminar assessment and post-Seminar resources so that participants can deepen their commitment to lifelong wellness. Learn more about this program here http://bit.ly/PB_CREDO.
*The Rev. Kristen J. Kleiman is the pastor of The First Congregational Church UCC in Bristol, CT.