October 11 is National Clergy Appreciation Day. I have no idea who designated it as such. As a formerly active member of that class called clergy I would like to name October as Clergy Appreciation Month.
Have you hugged your pastor today? Believe me, he or she could use a hug. Or a note card expressing your gratitude. Or a word of encouragement. Or a helping hand as your pastor or rabbi or priest heads into weekly gatherings this weekend.
Many if not most clergy face profound isolation and loneliness, self doubt, guilt over not doing more things well or better, weariness, and anxiety (I will explain why later).
You know, when you tell your pastor that you are grateful for what he does, also tell him that you're grateful for who he is as a person, not just a pastor.
I can assure you there is much more going on behind the scenes than you are aware, and your pastor carries many burdens, and, harder, faces the profound challenge of trying to keep a congregation together in unity and good will while also speaking the truth as best as he or she can. It ain't easy.
So, if you haven't already, hug your pastor today....whatever a hug looks like.