Midway through a career as a devoted local pastor of the United Methodist Church, Laurie Haller was burned out. Professional ministry is not always kind to its clergy. In Laurie's words, she was "discouraged, bored, hopeless, depressed, beyond exhaustion, cynical, despairing, and numb." She had lost all sense of balance between her career, her family, and herself. Fueled by a Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal grant in 2000, Laurie took a recess from her ministry and her daily life. What followed was a rejuvenating journey of reflection, recovery, and finally re-entry, as Laurie rediscovered her calling through a combination of travel, play, and as she puts it, wasting time with Jesus. Laurie Haller "is a marathon runner, physically and spiritually, and will help clergy reclaim their first love of Christ that fuels their own faithful passion for ministry," writes Dr. Kim Cape, General Secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. With her co-pastor and husband, Gary, at her side, Laurie is able to step away from her leadership duties, knowing she's leaving her responsibilities in good hands. From fly fishing to worship at the Taizé Community in France, Laurie's recess is a spiritually rewarding and introspective experience that leaves her ready to embrace the role she originally fell in love with: serving God, ministering her local church, and working to bring in the kingdom for all of God's children.
Recess by Laurie Haller was published by Cass Community Publishing House in January 2015. The ISBN for Recess is 9781939880840.