In softball and baseball at all levels, teams relentlessly practice "covering the base." This means that when one defensive player gets pulled away from a base, e.g. chasing a fly ball, another player knows that she or he must cover that base in order to get the opposing player out. The same is true in the church.

When one pastor is out, the other knows it is her or his responsibility to cover the pastoral responsibilities. I have practiced this for years with my colleagues on staff because it is important that each of us take time away from the "base" called the church in order to retreat and renew before returning. As Ed transitions to McKinney and another pastor transitions in, I will be covering bases variously through the summer to preach, teach, administrate, conduct funerals, counsel for weddings, visit hospitals, and more. I will also take short breaks away to memorialize my father in Houston and spend snippets of time away with family for retreat and renewal before returning refreshed. I have also automated our financial giving because the work of our church goes on whether I am physically here or not.

Camps, mission trips, choir tour, Vacation Bible School, Pops Concert, and refurbishing the Sanctuary all make the church a busy place throughout the summer. Covering the bases with our support by stepping up while practicing self-care at the same time is essential for a balanced and winning life. I wish both for you and yours this summer.

Grace, peace and prayer,