Created To Be a Steward: First Quarter Resources

Created To Be a Steward

A Year Long Dynamic Stewardship Resource

First Quarter Installment Stewardship of Self-Care

Meet the Reverend Linda Parker, our contributor for the first quarter of our resource.

We regret to inform you that Linda Parker ended her earthly journey in early February of 2022, after a long battle with cancer. The resources created for the first quarter of 2021 were a gift to us from her gracious ministry and loving service to the church. We mourn her passing, but we are grateful we have this resource to share with you as a portion of her legacy.

Welcome to a three-part series on self-care.  I am going to talk a bit about myself and painting in the first section.  The second session will share some insights from Blanca Fernandes about self-care and cooking and sharing meals. The third section will have beautiful photographs from Warren Lynn and some reflection about self-care and photography.  Much of the time, we as clergy, are told that we should not focus much on our own struggles and strengths in leading worship and teaching.  But I hope you will be open to doing just that as you share with your congregation something about self-care.

As I wrote these pieces, I envisioned them being the jumping off place for a Sunday School class where you invite several members of the class to talk about their own self-care.  I’ll say more about that in a bit. 

Bruce Barkhauer invited me to share because I have taken up watercolor painting as a form of self-care.  Here’s a little about my background.  I was born and raised in Texas.  Attended TCU and Vanderbilt Divinity School.  I was ordained and served churches in Iowa, Virginia, Tennessee and Indiana.  In 2013 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  I had surgery, took chemo and had radiation.  I applied for and was given a wonderful Clergy Renewal grant from the Lilly Foundation.  I travelled to Italy and several other places and took classes in painting along the way.  In 2015 I had a recurrence of the cancer and more surgery and more chemotherapy.  I also have some kidney damage from the radiation and have to have a stent replaced in my kidney every three months.  I retired in 2018 after being lovingly cared for by the congregation that I was serving.  So, the chemo continues, and all the wonderful side effects from that.  I have neuropathy and that affects my mobility.  In retirement I have been able to paint – and I have to say, painting is a great distraction from the struggle with cancer and its side effects.  I talk about all the side effects of cancer because for those who deal with this or some other illness – or some other responsibility, or some other burden – sometimes that burden is so big and takes up so much of our attention and energy that it is wonderful and healing if we can do something that draws us out of ourselves.

Here are two of my paintings.

Unit One of Three

Unit Two of Three

Unit Three of Three