Yes, Rachael Pryor was pregnant at Annual Meeting and yes she had the baby! Linus joined the Pryor family on October 29th! Welcome Linus and congratulations to Rachael and family Dad, Adam and big brother Henry and sister, Greta!
And by the way…when Phil Hodson first started in KO about three years ago now, he and his wife Joelle were pregnant and their youngest was born shortly after. But Rachael is the first pastor that has given birth in the last seven years. It is good news for KO, that we have pastors that have young children and congregations that have members that they are bringing to the annual meeting! We have to ask questions about both our meeting patterns and plan for child care again and that’s a good thing for the future.
It also means that congregations need to look at personnel policies and expectations of pastors with new eyes and ask if they are as supportive of a healthy work/family life balance as they should be. While we all know we aren’t living in an age where there’s someone home full time caring for children and on occasion, the church is slow to change expectations. This is especially true when many congregations have been not had younger pastoral leadership or had pastoral leadership that hasn’t made a shift in balancing work and family life expectations. This shift can be good not only for the pastor and their family but for a healthier, more engaged congregation as well. a shift in expectations for a healthier family work/life balance; these are really good things. But what does this this new reality of younger pastors say about how we are church? And it’s a great opportunity to explore together if how we’ve always done it still works and together to be open to new ideas for the future that’s already here. But, we don’t have to wait for a new baby in our congregations to prompt these discussions! Let’s welcome Linus and have them now.