“Just Muddling Along”
Rev. William Bills
February 3, 2021
FROM THE PASTOR
One day John Boyse stopped to chat in the parking lot. This Tower Alert column came up. I said I don’t write every week because I don’t always have something to say. If I don’t have anything to say I shouldn’t waste my time or yours. John suggested I write about myself. I kind of like flying under the radar, though. And I live a pretty routine life. I am outgoing as needed but I really do like to keep to myself.
Clergy are said to be in the helping profession. We are supposed to be there for others, care for others, care about others, listen to others, help and sometimes even inspire others. Maintaining that outward focus can become so routine that when someone asks me how I am doing, I typically bungle the response. “How are you doing,” is the question I ask you! But thank you to all who have asked over the last ten months. It is nice to know you care.
My response to the question lately has become, “just muddling along.” Hardly inspirational but that sums it up. This has been the strangest year for ministry since 1985. Some days it seems like things are good and some days I am not so sure. I wasn’t around for the Spanish Flu pandemic so I have nothing to compare this to! Things have sure been different the last year.
Some days I think it is so peaceful and quiet at the church. Other days the silence is deafening. We have all learned to adapt but I am not sure I like it. I am accustomed to writing sermons now and preaching to a camera. The whole video production thing has become routine. We don’t even need to be in the same state anymore, let alone the same building. I have learned how to function in new ways. But I miss the old ways.
Some days I wonder if people will come back to church. We can broadcast on the internet and watch church in our jammies now. Meetings and classes are online now. We are pretty efficient, too. People give electronically and through the mail. We learned to work remotely. We didn’t lay anyone off, we paid our ministry shares, mortgage payments and gave a lot to missions. We ended the year with a positive balance. The church fared better than a lot of businesses. Personally, our family has stayed safe and employed or in school. That sounds like a good year. But it feels as though I have been muddling along for ten months.
I hope that you are doing well. I hope that you are staying positive and looking forward to better days ahead. I am doing fine; muddling along. I am looking forward to better days, learning how to celebrate simple things, learning to adapt and wondering what John Boyse is up to.
At University United Methodist Church, we affirm that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an open and inclusive congregation and welcome all persons into full participation regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age, ability, education, background and whether single or partnered.