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Even though I was always the last kid picked for a team in PE, I love using different sports as analogies in ministry. Teamwork, focus, being clear on the purpose, giving our all...we struggle to articulate these things in our work ministry. I feel like my job is somewhat like a coach to help communicate the mission and goals for the church and to help us all work together to get there.

One of the biggest challenges for me is maintaining the focus. When there are so many things that happening, I sometimes hop on my bike and ride to collect my thoughts and regain my focus. It has become my favorite form of prayer.

This week I took time for a long bike ride Monday morning to continue processing the feelings of grief for the people whose services we celebrated last weekend. It kicked off a week where I interacted with the following ministries: Finance meeting, SPR conversations, Bridge Builders Clergy meeting, One Alliance for LGBTQ inclusion and the 49 Bells Movement meeting, Casselberry Area Ministry Leaders and Neighbor to Neighbor meeting, Mentoring candidates for ordained ministry, conversations about continuing our homeless ministry, listening to ideas about fundraising for the Cuba ministry, meeting with potential new members, rounding our our nominations for 2022, preparing for Charge Conference, choir rehearsal, Trustee conversations, brainstorming about family ministries, equipping the start a new small group, preparing for my current small group, daily morning Bible reflection on FB, daily morning prayer with an online prayer group, communicating with the congregation, intercessory prayer for people in our church and community, worship planning, and sermon writing.

I will pause for some sabbath time today, spending some time with the grandchildren, and I think I have just been persuaded to have my first pumpkin spice latte of the season by my daughters.

Still ahead this weekend - meeting with new team leaders, Sunday morning prayer, Sunday morning worship, afternoon service at the Tremont, and then for fun Sunday night - I'm seeing Guys and Dolls with my daughter at St. Luke's UMC.

As I walk through my schedule each week, I have better focus some days than others. I will share in Sunday's sermon about a lack of focus I had Wednesday night and how that became a powerful moment to grow closer to God.

The focus for us in our discipleship challenge this next week will be on Prayer or to put it another way - Being With God. We will look at how to be with God as an individual and how we can be with God together as a church. To do that, we have to let God take away our burdens so that we can be free to praise God and love others. Here is one of my favorite videos that I use frequently in sermons from Celebrate Recovery. I pray that each of you will feel your burdens lifted and will be able to focus on time with God.

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