New York, New York….Day 2 & 3

Last 2 days have been quite a whirlwind. Wednesday, we started the day at the Statue of Liberty. I’ve been once before, but this time, we got to go inside the pedestal. It houses a Statue of Liberty Museum.

You can also get a glimpse from just below the Statue of the inside structure. Since 9/11, nobody is allowed to go up to the crown, but you can see the staircase that was built for it. Another great feature is the pedestal observation deck, which gives an incredible view of Manhattan and Ellis Island.

The history of the Statue is quite impressive. But even more so is the security to get one the ferry and to go inside the pedestal. THAT process is more thorough than the security process at the airport! I’m not kidding!

After spending most of the afternoon at the Statue, we meandered toward Ground Zero. Last year, there was a barrier that had quite a bit of information on it as well as allowing for viewing into the area. Now, that barrier is gone, replaced with construction fencing. From street level, you can’t see into the site anymore. Probably the only view you can get is from above if you’re inside one of the surrounding buildings.

Leaving there, we hit the subway back into Queens. I fell asleep and was jarred awake by my own voice, talking out loud in a dream I don’t even remember. Chuck thought that was pretty funny. He went on and on about how a lady was sitting next to me and looking at me strangely over the “couple of times” I talked in my sleep. He tried to convince me he was telling her not to mind me, that he just sticks me in a corner because I do that all the time! It got us both rolling!

I don’t think I mentioned that when we had dessert at Georgia Diner (remember the Black Forest cake?), that Chuck told me that HIS favorite cake is Black Forest. I was floored!! I had no idea we both had the same favorite cake, and an exquisite one at that! What? Don’t look at me like that… IS exquisite!

He had a few bites of mine and said, “next time, I’m getting my own piece.” Well, that we did. Arriving back from Ground Zero, we went back to Georgia Diner for dinner and a piece of Black Forest cake.

I told the waiter that if his hand slipped when he was cutting the cake and ended up cutting a larger piece than normal, I’d be OK with it, really! I didn’t want him to be worried about that. Sure enough, he brought back 2 larger than normal pieces of cake! We tipped him well!

Today, the conference started at noon, so we both got to sleep in a bit. The sessions today were on Emotionally Healthy Skills, which were a refresher of some material Colleen and I were trained in here 3 years ago. I am excited to bring more of this home to integrate into our church family life and growth.

Had dinner with a Foursquare Pastor and his wife from Waynesboro, Virginia. It was great to get to know them and hear their story of how they have been exposed to the EHS material. This particular Pastor has been at the church he leads for seven years and just experienced a sabbatical last Summer.

Sabbaticals in our denomination have always been REACTIVE in nature. That means they’ve always been a reaction to a crisis or oncoming crisis. Unfortunately, that’s given sabbaticals a negative connotation.

Many denominations actually have sabbatical policies in place. Every seven years or so, a Pastor is actually expected to go on Sabbatical for a three month period for an extended time of rest, refreshing, and revitalization. Those are sabbaticals that are PROACTIVE in nature. In other words, they are meant to be part of an overall strategy to help prevent burnout from occurring for Pastors.

Our denomination has been more and more open to this kind of sabbatical. While we don’t have a denominational policy in place, Foursquare is encouraging Pastors and Church Councils to implement their own policies allowing for these kind of proactive sabbaticals.

This Pastor from Virgina is on the forefront of this movement. He offered to send me theirs for our Church Council to evaluate and consider. It’s interesting to get to converse with him because I have been considering bringing this concept to our Council and congregation for consideration.

This year (right now as a matter of fact) marks 7 years since my burnout experience. Looking back, I marvel at what God has done in my life, and the changes He has brought to the life of our church family. I am very excited about the future God has before us, and know that He is wanting to use us more and more for the purpose of growing healthy families as well as impacting others for the cause of healthier Pastors and healthier churches.

Well, off to bed for now. When I travel for less than a week, I always try to stay on the same time schedule to reduce jet lag when I come home. However, I feel myself easing, maybe better said….oozing, into Eastern Daylight Time. Good night!

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