From The Living Church-
Shortly after being ordained, I found myself completely overwhelmed. I was then rector of the only Anglican church in a small city in northern Canada. My wife and I had just moved into the rectory beside the church, and we had a newborn. All these changes happened within a month. I felt ill-prepared to navigate the complex intersecting realities of parish ministry and family life.
A big factor was the scope of ministry in that parish. My time was spent not with only a growing number of church members, but also people in the community with minimal connection to the church. As well, my community being a hub, I was called upon by people outside the community who were in town for one reason or another (this broad scope of ministry is actually quite common in northern Canada). Additionally, there were many challenges in the community and limited resources to meet those challenges. I saw firsthand what Eugene Peterson describes as “the sheer quantity of wreckage around us — wrecked bodies, wrecked marriages, wrecked careers, wrecked plans, wrecked families.”