IMG_3568Yesterday I took a wall-mount Koala diaper changing table to work. On Sunday I took a bag of rocks and an ink pad (washable). It strikes me that our very sincere and holy calling as pastors requires a lot of random accouterments. So this morning I have for you a fun little song. Sing it to the tune of “Favorite Things” from Sound of Music–while wearing a jumper dress and spinning around on a mountaintop, if possible.

[Cue music: You can sing along to this YouTube accompaniment.]

Bibles and hymnals and candlestick holders,
pulpit and mic and a stole for my shoulders,
strong voice to pray and to preach and to sing:
These are a few of my pastoral things.

Computer and desk and a telephone handy,
post-it notes, scratch paper, small stash of candy,
wisdom to silence my phone when it pings:
These are a few of my pastoral things.

Shot glasses for an impromptu communion,
someone who knows what key to put the tune in,
checklists then checkmarks—the joy that those bring:
These are a few of my pastoral things.

When the world cries,
when the church clings,
when I’m feeling stressed,
I simply remember my pastoral things
and know that God’s in the mess.

Rocks, markers, pipe cleaners, ribbons, and ink pads,
scissors and where is that stapler I just had?
Artsy endeavors with plenty of bling:
These are a few of my pastoral things.

Emails and phone calls and last minute meetings,
late nights and lunch dates and after-church greetings,
grocery store patrons who need counseling:
These are a few of my pastoral things.

Mousetraps and fridge cleans and random things we mend,
Visits and sermons and never a weekend.
Laughter and crying and all the mood swings,
These are a few of my pastoral things.

When the world cries,
when the church clings,
when I’m feeling stressed,
I simply remember my pastoral things
and know that God’s in the mess.

[Additional verses welcome in the comments!]


Joanna Harader creates checklists, avoids mousetraps, and offers impromptu public pastoral counseling sessions in Lawrence, Kansas. She is grateful to the good people of Peace Mennonite Church for always knowing what key to sing the tune in, and for putting up with her mood swings.


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8 thoughts on “Wits’ Ends Day: Pastoral Things

    1. OK, Jill. Because I actually cannot stop writing verses in my head (although I’m about to run out of words that rhyme with “things.”)

      Dishwashers, lawn mowers, toilet bowl plungers,
      wrenches and duct tape—oh just call the plumber.
      “And other duties” with halo and wings:
      These are a few of my pastoral things.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. When my daughter was in pre-school they did a helpers week. Each day the children were to think of an item that the helper of the day used: police, fire fighters, doctors, etc. On the day they talked about pastors, when asked what does a pastor use, my daughter said, “Gum!” The teacher looked at her blankly, until she explained that our pastor always had gum in his office for the kids, and sent them packs of gum on their birthdays.

    Liked by 1 person

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