Thank you, NH Clergy!

Dear Church,

Did you know that October is Clergy Appreciation Month?

After the last two years, I know I am not alone in saying that I cannot adequately express my gratitude for our clergy in New Hampshire. Our congregational pastors, chaplains, specialized ministers, camp folks, and all who care for the people of God have given tirelessly of themselves. The Church has shifted profoundly in these two years and our clergy have led that work with grace, humor, compassion, and profound faithfulness. Thank you, colleagues.

This work has also come at a deep cost. Rates of clergy burnout are soaring. Clergy are leaving ministry at higher rates than many of us have seen in our lifetimes. It has often been the emptying of a reservoir that has become harder, and harder to refill.

This clergy appreciation month, here are a few suggestions on how to say thank you to your clergy for their leadership, and ministry.

1. Offer additional sabbath time/time off between now and the end of the year. There is never a perfect time to hit pause. Offer your clergy extra time for rest. It’s Biblical.

2. Express gratitude. Gratitude is a faithful and sacred practice. You’d be surprised how much a genuine thank you note, or word of appreciation can mean. Even if you think your pastor already knows? Take the time to say so.

3. Offer to drop off a meal, or a gift card to feed them.

4. Help support a sustainable rhythm. Your clergy have been in crisis mode for the last two years. Help them think about how to shift into a rhythm that supports the long haul, and then actively support what they need to do that.

These are just a few ideas to help say thank you to our incredible spiritual leaders. Colleagues, I am so grateful for all you’ve given, and continue to give. The future of the Church in NH is bright thanks in no small part to your tenacity, perseverance, faithfulness, and commitment to this work. God, and the NH Council of Churches delight in you, and your ministry. Bless you.

Rev. Heidi