Dear Grace Community,
Are you wondering ‘What to Expect When Your Pastor is Expecting?’ My February 21 due date is fast approaching, and while it’s exciting, it does raise some questions. You’ve asked me a wide range of questions, and I’ll try to cover some of the most common ones.
- Will I take a maternity leave?
- The Grace personnel policy allows for an eight-week maternity leave, and it is my plan to take eight weeks. If the baby isn’t early, my last day in the office is Thursday, February 18, and I’ll return sometime around Thursday, April 14. If the baby comes early, this all gets moved up. I am grateful for a policy that allows for this time off, both for my body to recover from childbirth and for time to bond with our new daughter.
- Who will preach while I’m gone?
- We have wonderful preachers lined up, all of whom know our community. They are: Amy Baumgartner, Joyce and Danny Daniel, and Geoff and Jennifer Snook.
- What about the other things you do? Who will do those?
- Amy Baumgartner and Geoff Snook will cover funerals and emergency pastoral care issues. Deacons and hospital callers will visit hospitals. Staff and teams will cover a lot (probably more than I can imagine at this point), and I’m doing what I can to leave things as ready as possible. There’s a chance things will get missed while I am gone. If something you expect to happen doesn’t, please ask someone on staff for help or an explanation. We have an incredible staff here. I am grateful for their servant-hood and ask that you offer them extra support while I am gone.
- So, you won’t do funerals?
- My plan is not to do any funerals during my maternity leave. While I will of course want to walk with you and your family through the death and funeral process, I do not know what kind of shape I’ll be in after having a baby. I know that some women bounce right back while others do not. It is best for me to plan not to be involved.
- Will I come to worship while I’m on maternity leave?
- While John and I are excited to introduce our daughter to you, we do not plan to worship here during my maternity leave.
- Who should visit me in the hospital or at home?
- When a baby is born in our congregation, Jennifer Snook and I visit the hospital, and whoever the hospital callers are for those days visit as well. I would like to limit hospital visitors to these people (our Director of Children’s Ministries and hospital callers) and hope you will understand. As far as home visits go, I don’t know that I’ll be the best hostess for a while, but in time I’m sure we’ll be glad for short visits. Just call before coming by.
Please let me know if you have questions about any of this, and please keep me, John, and our baby in your prayers.