Ministry

Monday is the New Friday

The calendar on my iPod Touch has one entry for today:

all-day    Day off

This is new for me. For about five years now, I've been taking Fridays off. I have to go back to the beginning of my ministry to remember taking Mondays. I had smaller children then, and Monday was a great day to get the household organized for the week. The only trouble was–well, there were two only troubles. One was there were some Mondays that had evening meetings I had to attend, in particular a Trustees meeting at Small Church, and the other was that I spent the day doing housework and things for other people and never made it a proper Sabbath day. There was no rest and no recreation. And because I tried not to work on Saturday, either (though that rarely happened since there were events and commitments), I would often find myself working not only Friday during the day but trying to finish my sermon on Friday EVENING, the one night of the week Pure Luck and I had to ourselves as the children went off to spend the night with their dad.

That wasn't good.

I tried Thursdays, briefly, but because my clergy support group met two Thursdays a month (see, I justified that by saying it was *good* for me), it was easy to let other church obligations intrude.

I resisted Friday because it was Small Church's night for the Soup Kitchen, but I finally decided that was a better choice since at least for the Soup Kitchen I did not have to prepare an agenda or dress up nicely.

I've learned to make Fridays a good thing. In my interim churches, I've almost never had a Friday obligation other than an occasional wedding rehearsal: an auction, once, at North Parish, and the Sparkle parade and Fancy Cake Party at First Parish.

On Fridays I try to schedule nothing. When Pure Luck is home, we go out on a date or plan a special evening in together. If I'm going to have a massage (less frequent these days), I do it on Friday. Mostly I make sure to turn off my church brain. I've learned to let go of my sermon. I've learned to focus on my self and my inner life and my outer life, too.

Somehow I made Friday a Sabbath experience, including some kind of refreshment and some kind of fun and some kind of rest each week. That seemed to suit Fridays.

Can I make it happen on Mondays? In my new church, the Senior Pastor takes Fridays, and I've agreed to take Mondays so that we can each have a real day off without having to cover emergencies. Since Friday will be my first day at Y1P (temporary nickname), Monday as a day off begins right now.

Today I have nothing scheduled except

all-day    Day off

I think I'll take Sam to his favorite in-town park to chase the squirrels. We often slip over there on a Monday, which has been my work-at-home day, but we hurry to get back to work. Today, we'll go around twice! I'll finish reading a mystery. I'll pick up a few things at the store, but I won't make it a major trip (those are NOT Sabbath-like). I'll take a nap. I'll cook for Sam. (Okay, that's work, but at least it's home-work.) I'll talk to Pure Luck. I'll try to find out what happened at last night's MORP (Snowman's Prom at Land o'Lakes Academy). I'll call #1 Son and try to catch up with him. I'll begin to adjust. I'll try not to think about my sermon for next Sunday, which will be in a new place to new people. I won't even open a new file in Microsoft Word for that sermon, a new folder for that new church. That can wait for tomorrow.

For today:

all-day    Day off

9 thoughts on “Monday is the New Friday”

  1. I’ve had Mondays off for three years. I know my work ethic and I like having a buffer day between Sunday and “beginning to work on next Sunday.” It’s an easier sabbath space than the time-crunch that Fridays become to “prepare for Sunday.”
    I’ve also found that people who are angry or annoyed on Monday usually calm down a bit on Tuesday!
    Happy Monday!

  2. Two times around the park? Not sure you should walk to Emmaus on your day off. 😉
    I think Mondays are far more challenging for Sabbath-taking. The old work-week song echoes in my head about “Monday-Washday, all you hungry children…”
    Here on the farm, I’ve been trying to shift my perspective so that some of my tasks, at least, can become more restful and meditative. The job of seed-planting is like that, with its methodical, quiet movements and reverent care for the hundreds of little about-to-sprouts as I tuck them in. Besides, gardening has always had a subtext of self-care for me, so there’s a lot of soul-tending in the act of seed-tending.
    Chicken-butchering is harder, but it certainly needs its own rhythms, rituals and prayers. I *do* perform this deed, at least the graphic part, with quiet reverence, but there are always a few decidedly unprayerful and irreverent moments in the process or “edible-izing” a chicken.
    On that note, good luck working on Sam’s meals today. I’ll be thinking of you and your dog as I work on those chickens!

  3. UMJeremy, thanks for commenting, I hadn’t thought of it that way; that helps! Also the angry thing…
    MaineCelt, it’s not a very big park. 🙂
    And that reminds me, I may do a little weeding and picking up of sticks, not as “work” but because I want to do it.

  4. I’ve been a Monday sabbath person for 6+ years after a dozen years of Fridays off. I like Mondays. It takes a while to get a rhythm going, but I find it to be a very nice and restful sabbath….

  5. good for you! not a monday day off girl… but noon is closing in, and i haven’t done a thing but nurse a sick dog… and shower.

  6. I have taken Monday’s off for years now, and like UMJ and others it has proven to be a good day for me. I am too worn from the output of energy on Sunday and really look forward to an input day….a day stay put, and in….usually in the house…and so to recharge…

  7. Monday is my day off…and then I work from home on Fridays. Most Fridays. I like Monday, b/c if there is nothing on Sunday afternoon or night, it is like a day and a half…or sometimes like 2 days, if I don’t go in to my office until noon on Tuesday, which I try to do because most Tuesdays I am here until 9:30 pm.
    I do a little work, sometimes, on Monday…and then I make up for it on Fridays. However, Monday’s do end up being chore days–always mopping kitchen on Monday. Should do it mid-week too, but……

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