The Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices
Eastertide often seems to get short shrift. This time of celebration for the new life granted through Jesus’ resurrection gets about a day of devotion. In many ways, Lent is an easier season to observe than Easter. For many of us, and particularly for clergy families, Holy Week is a marathon of services. As always, the time is amazing, experiencing the passion and resurrection, but come Monday, I’m exhausted. I wonder then, how I can take the joy from Easter Day and let it fuel me through the fifty days of Easter?
Most of us move through Holy Week reflecting upon the final days of Jesus, his death, and incredible resurrection. But for the few, prayers also beseech toners to stay full, rollers to track the paper, and jams to stay the stuff of Smuckers. Church secretaries and volunteers have to prepare and copy about a gazillion extra bulletins this week. In addition, there are Easter lilies to order, Altar Guilds to organize, and priests to manage. For church staffs, Holy Week is tough.
The Episcopal Church runs on the extraordinary commitment and real sacrifice of its lay and clergy leaders. Working with congregations and dioceses across our church, one thing is clear: team leadership is one of the most critical issues facing the Episcopal Church today. Many lay+clergy leadership teams at both the congregational and diocesan levels are searching for purpose, lack the structure needed to be effective, have become regulatory and administrative bodies rather than mission-focused, and I will argue that few are tapping into the true depth of gifts that lay members bring to the table.