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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    Perspectives: Day in the Life

    Day in the Life: Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens

    April 30, 2018 / By Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens

    Putting to words a day in the life brings with it a little challenge. Most of my days start out similar, early wake up, help get the kids out the door to school if I am home, time in prayer and the Scriptures, and at some point some physical exercise. Once that point is reached the day could take on many forms depending on the day. A good way to think about a day in the life at Vital Congregations is to imagine getting a menu at a restaurant. If you have ever visited a Cheesecake Factory, thinking about the voluminous menu will be helpful. Many of the days I look at the menu knowing exactly what I intend for the day to hold. Other days I come across a menu option I had not intended to share in, and still other days someone else provides my order.

    So, what are the menu options? Meetings are always a possibility. It could be connecting with the Cabinet, checking in with the other staff in the office, a one-on-one meeting with a leader, sitting with the Board of Laity, or sharing the journey with the Commission of Race and Religion. Not to mention planning teams for Leadership Academy, Illuminate Preaching Academy, and Laity Leadership Academy.

    Meetings are not the only menu option, there are also times of teaching. The day could hold leading a workshop for a district training day, a local congregation, a group of clergy, or a group of laity. If it is not teaching and training, there could be opportunity to coach leaders as they provide leadership to their local congregations.

    In addition to opportunities to teach and coach, there are times when the day calls for the work of consultation. This can involve leading a team that is engaged in a deep dive look at the mission and ministry of a congregation or helping an individual work through a struggle in leadership. From time to time, there is an opportunity to be in conversation with people from across the connection who are working on some of the same aspects of ministry as I am.

    With all the menu options, there will be days that involve planes, trains, and automobiles. A major portion of my days involve travel and over the years I have become very familiar with hotels.

    Regardless what the menu item for the day is, each day is lived with focus on the purpose to which I feel called. Ultimately, I long to see leaders, clergy and laity, grow in their capacity so that there will be an increase in vital congregations where people are being disciples of Jesus Christ who make disciples of Jesus Christ. In it all, that together we would be a people that God can use as a partner to transform the world.

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    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."