Church Pension Group | Vintage Voice-Putting Time on My Side

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The Rev. Dr. Ellen Richardson

Vintage Voice

The Church Pension Fund: Putting Time on My Side

Fall 2021

Clocks have always regulated my days: time to get kids up and to school, complete hospital rounds, see office patients, return calls, finish charts, and make evening rounds before finally heading home.

Then came seminary study, the collar, and meetings: vestry, adult formation, youth group, community organizations, vacation Bible school, and individuals in crisis or complaint. Every encounter was bound by time, bumping up against the next encounter. Where did the time go?

One measure of time became my monthly check from The Church Pension Fund, which, along with my personal savings, blessed me with the financial capacity to retire. Then the pandemic came, when time seemed to stop, leaving many of us longing for the adrenalin fix that comes from running late.

I believed that as I got older, I would appreciate time more as a welcome guest than an intruder, especially if I had the leisure to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But time has always run the show. Soon enough it will become a taskmaster again and old routines and schedules, temporarily pushed aside, will fall back into place. Then I will be left wondering anew, Where did the time go? 

The Rev. Dr. Ellen Richardson practiced as a physician and was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Georgia in 2008. She is the author of Holy Dying: Stories and Struggles (Church Publishing, 2017).

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