Methodist pastor describes Christmas as ‘Super Bowl of worship’
Blaine Scott releases a long sigh today as he puts up his feet to relax.
For the pastor of the First United Methodist Church, 522 White Ave., it’s one of the first times in nearly two months that the incredibly busy clergyman will only have to answer to himself and his wife, Tracy. Oh, and the couple’s two dogs, a cat and three horses at their north Grand Junction home.
The holidays are a busy time for most people, but they’re especially so for members of the clergy.
The whirlwind of extra events and planning that started in mid-November culminated on Christmas Eve, with three back-to-back services that the Rev. Scott officiated alongside assistant pastor Rev. Annie Arnoldy.
“It’s the Super Bowl of worship,” he said while preparing for the services earlier this week.
“We’ll bring it all night long, from 3:30 to 11:30 p.m. It’s awesome. After worship, I’m high.”
Scott laughed out loud earlier this week when a reporter called to ask whether he had a moment to speak about his hectic schedule of late. Of course, he didn’t. But he made time anyway.
“For me, everything around the holidays gets magnified,” he said. “There’s lots of things to do, and the holidays make them even more depressing or more emotional.”
As part of his regular routine, Scott makes the rounds visiting parishioners who are afflicted with illnesses and officiates more than 20 funerals a year. Weddings are scheduled, as well as worship services at retirement homes.
Scott oversees the management of 14 administrative staff, as well. Each Tuesday, he produces a rough draft of the upcoming Sunday service so staff can ready the appropriate images and locate music for services that draw about 500 parishioners a month.
During the holidays though, the workload increases. Well before the holiday season was on anyone’s mind, Scott began preparing material for Advent Bible study. He volunteered as a bell ringer for The Salvation Army. Scott worked in split shifts, often coming home for dinner but returning to the church for night meetings and to finish up duties. A special newsletter had to be designed for Christmas services to offer first-timers information about the church.
And then, in the midst of the holiday madness on Dec. 13, the couple’s only child, Sara Cayleigh, married at the church.
“What did I ever do to you to make you want to get married in the middle of December?” Scott said he jokingly asked his daughter.
The wedding, of course, went off flawlessly. It brought far-flung family together in Grand Junction, which required another piece of the pastor’s attention.
With so many things on his plate, Scott sometimes found himself having memory gaps, realizing he was needed in more than one place at a time.
“Even though it’s Christmas and there’s the wedding, it’s positive, but emotionally, it’s stressful,” he said.
On Tuesday, for example, Scott had an appointment to meet with a dying parishioner and that person’s family at Hospice. Immediately after that, he headed to St. Mary’s Hospital to welcome a baby into the world. These occasions require his full attention.
“Life’s so short you can’t afford to just talk on the surface,” he said.
It also “doesn’t pause so you can get your Christmas stuff done,” Scott added.