Tuesday, November 2, 2010

With Great Sadness...and My Prayers

Mason Beecroft has an unlikely name for a Lutheran Pastor but an unusual Pastor he was and is.  His parish is the antithesis of the prodding of church growth techniques.  His preaching has been blunt and yet eloquent on behalf of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  His church has been blessed with an impressive outreach to those whom so many say cannot be reached by the liturgy, hymnal, and tradition.  He has taken a leave of absence to help deal with some of the wounds he has borne for his faithfulness.  It is not uncommon for uncommonly gifted Pastors to face depression, stress, and burn out.  I know that there are many who have found themselves in need of such time apart and believe it is good and healthy when parish and Pastor see the need and provide such essential respite.  So I am sad for him and the wounds he carries even as I pray for him, for his healing, and for the time when he can return to the pastoral role at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Tulsa, OK


Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr. said...

I am fortunate to be neither uncommonly gifted nor suffering from clinical depression. Nevertheless, all those who suffer from clinical depression need our prayers. If y'all haven't already done so, read Todd Peperkorn's fabulous book on the subject: I Trust When Dark My Road. The pdf document is available for free. My review of the book is here:

You will also find there a link to the book.

Anonymous said...

After reading this post I was reminded of St. Preus' great article on this subject, "Clergy Mental Health and the Doctrine of Justification." The concluding paragraph highlights the comfort of this monumental doctrine.

Can and ought a pastor view mental breakdown or nervous exhaustion as a chastening from a loving God calculated only to bless and bring the pastor (and the congregation) closer to Him? The answer must be a resounding "yes." Yes, if the pastor believes in a loving God who sent His Son to be our Savior. Yes if the pastor believes in a faithful God who has promised again and again, I will never leave YOU." Yes, if the pastor believes in an almighty and providential God who through His Apostle Paul has assured us, "He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also give us all things with Him?" (Romans 8:32). Yes, even if the pastor has difficulty believing all these things or in confusion rejects them for a time. This is not a theology of failure but a theology of victory in failure. God's divine calling and providence allows us to believe and practice this theology of the cross.