A Pastor’s Day in Exile – Chris edition

A couple of weeks ago Jessica shared what a normalish day looks like for her in exile – now it’s my turn to share. Our days often look very different – as they should, we each bring different unique giftings into this work.

This is based on a real day, with some slight poetic license.

6:47am – Alarm goes off.

7:06am – Figure out the mental algorithm that actually results in me leaving my bed and facing the world today.

7:25am – After spending 20 minutes praying (or attempting to pray) and reading the bible (try to do one chapter; that actually happens half the time) I get dressed, make breakfast, lunch, and head out before heading off to work.

8:00am – The 7 steps from our living room to my computer sometime make for a draining commute. I use this starting time to make sure the blog post lineup is looking good, and/or  work on writing my own post. If I’m on it I look for content to re-tweet or share on Facebook.

8:45am – I move into my tech-free backroom and continue doing some reading and imagining and visualizing for an upcoming lenten series on doubt (which has already started, but it’s not too late to join! I could sneak you in if you’re nice.)

9:50am – Hop on the #5, and go to uptown Waterloo. I’m meeting a young adult for “coffee” (even though I don’t drink coffee) at Seven Shores. We talk about all the grand ideas we have, and fix all the church’s problems during our time – and I try to encourage him to take these thoughts and ideas and turn them into action of some sort. We brainstorm about how we could make that happen.

12:09am – Hop on my tablet, check and respond to emails. Then walk to campus and head up to space at Grebel in the Centre for Peace Advancement to meet with Jessica.

1:03pm – Refreshed from my walk-commute, Jessica and I have an exciting meeting that gets us on the same page and helps clarify what we’re going to be doing.

2:37pm – After the end of the meeting got sidetracked by some sort of irrelevant theological discussion – I walk the 30-35 minutes home. This is the time of day when my brain has lost most of its functioning capacity.

3:12pm – The walk was full of integrating ideas and people in my brain from the day’s events thus far. I come home and take a quick 10 minute power nap/konk out. After waking up, I take a look at a map of Kitchener-Waterloo. I’m working on a collaborative project with another pastor on how to map the spiritual & religious assets in neighbourhoods in K-W. It’s a big picture pie-in-the-sky project, but it’s exciting to see all the ways that God is already at work in the community. I wonder how we at PiE can join in.

4:29pm – I call it a day. Kind of. Although no longer on PiE time I go back to my creative space in the backroom and do some light theological/philosophical reading courtesy of Küng, Nietzsche, or Kierkegaard. This is what I do for fun – I’ve got deep existential/God questions I still haven’t got a satisfactory answer for. One of these days I’ll find what I’m looking for. I love the intellectual thrill of the chase anyways!

5:11pm – Rachel comes home and we talk about our days as she makes dinner and I clean up dishes. Usually this dovetails into some other discussion about community, social-work, church, or theology. We learn a lot from each other just talking. We eat a delicious Greek meal of rice, tzatziki, pita  and pork shish kabobs. I finish the dishes and she puts the food away.

6:43pm – I’m off again and this time I’m walking (can you tell I love walking?) to the Boardwalk to meet someone for “coffee” again. She’s curious about PiE and works in the church, but also has some fundraising and story-telling insights to share which I’m hungry to learn more about how that can benefit us at PiE. Jessica and I have learned a lot in this steep learning curve of forming a non-profit charitable ministry, but there’s still more to learn. I also appreciate sharing more about PiE to people in K-W who are outside of Mennonite circles.

9:01pm – I walk home – again, spending the time thinking about the conversation and using that as a springboard into other grand ideas. I’m all about big ideas, but PiE has also taught me how to make them more practical.

9:17pm – Arriving at home, I do some more theological reading. The pursuit never ends. I also go on DuoLingo and do my French exercises (I’m 34% fluent now!).

10:05pm – Bedtime, I’m tired and ready to sleep. It’s been a good day.

10:53pm – After tossing and turning for too long, I say “screw it”, and get up and do some more reading.

11:58pm – Finally my brain is too tired to care any more. I go to bed again, and this time I fall asleep.


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