I attended a "wellness" event recently; it was sponsored by our Methodist Conference as a part of their strategy to encourage self-care among clergy. By attending certain events, having an annual physical, and spending some time with a "fitness coach" we are able to see a reduction in our monthly health insurance rate. But beyond the financial benefit is the hope that healthier clergy will be a more effective clergy! Overall I've found the experience to be helpful and I've heard that many organizations are now offering these types of programs. It made me wonder, however, why preventative programs aren't offered to address one's mental health?
Recently we celebrated a Day of Thanksgiving. For Kristi, Beth and me this is always a wonderful family time. On Thanksgiving day we were joined by our son John, his wife, Alisha and our two grandsons (also the grand-dogs!). We were also blessed by having Alisa's parents and sister join us this year. It was a feast of both food and fellowship. Usually we connect with Kristi's sister and family on Friday after Thanksgiving for pizza at Hideaways (pictured above) but this year that side of the family was doing a mini-vacation in Alabama. Still we had a great time with all who were able to join us. Indeed, we had much to be thankful for...
After an almost snowless winter last year, it was nice to have snow come early in November this year. Our first snowfall was not a blizzard but it was beautiful all the same! (Pictured above is Sarah, my Administrative assistant, enjoying winter's first snow.) We didn't have much Fall this year, but I welcome the early Winter all the same. It brings an end to "rag-weed season" and the heat and dust that accompany summer. It also reminds us of "the seasons of life" of which the writer of Ecclesiastes speaks: There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens, says the writer in Ecclesiastes chapter 3.
This month we celebrated Beth's (my daughter, pictured above with brother John) 37th birthday. It was a joyous event, in large part due to the fact that Beth loves birthday parties. She loves seeing her friends and family. She loves the atmosphere of special events; and people love being around her because she is a special person. Beth is special in many ways: she has a delightful (bubbly) personality; she has a wonderful sense of humor, and she has numerous special needs, many of which she has risen above.
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.