“October is a special time to say thanks to our pastors”

Barbara A. Stein,Salem UMC in Orwigsburg, PABy Barbara A. Stein, Lay Leader, Salem UMC, Orwigsburg, PA

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Pastors should be appreciated all the time, not just for one month. Pray for your pastors, pay them well, and give them time and space to love and lead their families. At the same time, I am sure our pastors look forward to some extra special attention during the month of October.

At Salem UMC in Orwigsburg we have been showing our appreciation in an extra special way. Since 2007, we have showered our pastor with appreciation daily during the month of October. It started out as a secret mission to show our pastor how grateful we were for his commitment to our church.

We made a signup sheet and asked for volunteers to sign up for one day each. How they chose to show their appreciation was up to them. Soon we had every day of the month filled, and then the fun began!

Each day our pastor gets something delivered, mailed or handed to him personally. It could be as simple as a card with a personal note added, or a gift-card to his favorite place to eat or to buy some books, a gas card, or a home-cooked treat. Or it could be taking him and his family out for Sunday dinner. How simple or how elaborate is the choice of the giver. This October appreciation ministry has kept going each year and with each new pastor we receive.

A pastor never “clocks out.” A pastor is a pastor all of the time. The responsibility is enormous, as a pastor “is given charge of souls,” said Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It is our job to encourage, love and support our pastors, as they seek to faithfully fulfill all the duties of their ministries.

Our Pastor Appreciation Ministry during October is just one way we do this at Salem UMC in Orwigsburg, PA.

Barbara A. Stein was asked to write this article by her now former pastor, the Rev. Lou Hornberger, who served the last six years at Salem UMC in Orwigsburg. He now serves Hope UMC in Douglassville.

Be sure to read “(More than) 10 ways to appreciate your pastor,” a UMC.org feature by Laurens Glass, and learn some of the special ways church members have made special pastors feel valued and appreciated.