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Sacred Link 3

Category : Transitions

When ‘No’ is a healthy word

Week 3 in a series of digital sacred conversations about HUCC’s covenant. 

Guidance by Rev. Marijke Rossi. 

Week three: Find Balance

We will restate the purpose and the agreement each week.

The purpose in reviewing the covenant as sacred conversation  in this way at this time is to continue the conversation we started before the pandemic; online because we can no longer meet in person. It is a way that can be helpful and move us along in this process before the new senior pastor arrives. We pray that it will be useful and healing for all of us.


We start each one of these sessions with an extension of grace and a request for grace, along with the guidelines used for all sacred conversations at HUCC:

  • We will listen, as we read, to the content here and to others’ responses with respect, with discernment and without judgment.
  • Respond in Love and caring for one another.
  • As we respond let us do so with “I” language to promote each person’s voice including our own.

… to find balance in our commitments.

I agree to say no to any project or activity that I feel I cannot commit to fully. I agree to work diligently on those projects or activities which I take on. I agree to ask for help when I find myself over-committed. I agree to offer help rather than complain when a project is not running according to my schedule. I agree to lay aside both guilt and blame for the sake of building a stronger community. I agree to respect and support the efforts of leaders, pastors and other congregation members to balance their time.

Healthy no: Sometimes it is difficult to say “no” to anything your church asks of you and yet it is healthy to do so when you feel you can’t commit. You might be saying to yourself, “I can fit this in,” or “I know they need me.”

Happy or burdened: Do some critical questioning of  yourself before saying yes to commitments to church. How am I feeling about what I have been asked to do? Am I happy about it or burdened by it, does it fit my value system and what was my initial reaction? Once we have discerned these things, we can make a more informed decision. When we feel good about our decision to commit to a project it is much easier to do it fully with love and respect for ourselves and the project.

Ask for help: When our projects or ministries become overwhelming, seek help. It is not wrong to do so!  Things change in the world. Our whole church life has changed with the pandemic. Surely more changes will occur. Adaptability is good but being overwhelmed doesn’t help ministry or us. Our personal lives change too and we can’t help that. 

Guilt free: Our church should be one that rejects shame and guilt. If we can’t manage, there is grace to say that it is okay to step away for a bit and adjust expectations. Let’s be kind to ourselves and everyone else. The other side of this is if we notice someone is struggling in their ministry we can gently ask if we can help. If we have the capacity to do so, do it in a way that is coming alongside the person without taking over.

Boundaries: Self-care comes up often in boundary training for clergy. It is equally important for everyone else. Boundary training helps us to acknowledge good relationships and protects us from getting into negative behavior. Setting boundaries for ourselves in what we commit to is crucial to self-care. 

Loving ourselves: We all have obligations we feel we must take care of in our lives. Managing priorities is the key. Let us always honor ourselves as much as we honor others. Jesus calls us to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Sometimes it is difficult to love yourself as much as others. I know. I grew up serving the needs of others and learned to value others before myself. I think this is common in women of my generation. We are equal and precious in the love of God. 

Please ask whatever questions come up for you as you revisit the covenant you entered into as a member of HUCC.I invite replies to: pastor@holladayucc.org. The replies sent will help to inform the next phase of exploring our move forward. 

Blessings, Pastor Marijke

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