“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.”
(Ps. 62:1 NIV)
Although Christmas stands as one of the bookend festivals of the Christian church year, often pastors are weary as the last Christmas carols are sung. The treasured opportunities to marvel in the gospel centered joys of Christmas come with other commitments too. We do additional worship planning, worship coordination, and sermons. We do all of these to mark this high festival of the church year. Family centered occasions also occupy our time. This increased activity can create a longing for a respite, a break from the busyness of life and ministry.
Winterim at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary can offer pastors both a respite and a retreat. Winterim falls when there is a natural break in ministry activities just after the Christmas’ and New Year’s celebrations. The classes of Winterim and daily chapels act as a needed retreat that refill the Lord’s servants for future ministry.
I have sampled every form of continuing education offered by our Seminary, and Winterim has become a favorite. The post Christmas calm gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in your chosen class. You can enjoy being fed rich spiritual foods after you have emptied yourself in the previous weeks as one of the under shepherds of Jesus’ flock. You can take a lighter load of just one class to open up other opportunities in the extra quiet time you have on campus. You can do new year ministry planning, reset your exercise routine, or make headway in that book you have wanted to read. Because Winterim falls in the first two weeks of January, you won’t be giving up precious family time when the children are out of school. Finally, Winterim gives you the opportunity to rub shoulders with the men who will one day serve as your brothers in your circuit or conference. Make use of Winterim as a much needed respite or retreat as your soul finds rest in our Savior God.
Pastor Steve Daley (’99)