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August 20, 2012 / Richard Bass

Resources and Comments in Response to “Discovering Work-Life Balance”

David Edman Gray’s “Discovering Work-Life Balance” (the August 20, 2012 Alban Weekly, adapted from the upcoming book, Practicing Balance: How Congregations Can Support Harmony in Work and Life) cites statistics which bolster Gray’s assertion that families are increasingly suffering from an imbalance between work demands and spiritual needs. Chief among these needs are to develop a deeper connection with God and to enjoy life more.

Part of the imbalance stems from the increasing need to have both spouses working longer hours in a precarious economy, as well as from technological advances that enable our work to follow us wherever we go. As a Presbyterian pastor, Gray has found through pastoral experience that “work-life imbalance is at the heart of many of the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual problems people face.”

Gray advocates greater workplace flexibility, as well as enriched spiritual practices, to support fuller attention to family lives and to “keep people emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy.”

What resources can support work-life balance? Please consider these items: Addicted to Hurry: Spiritual Strategies for Slowing Down; Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives; and Wrestling with Grace: A Spirituality for the Rough Edges of Daily Life.

And please check out the End of Summer Sale from Alban Publishing!

What are your stories and thoughts on this topic? And what resources do you suggest? We look forward to hearing from you.


Leave a Comment
  1. Zach / Aug 28 2012 12:15 pm

    While I agree with the comment, above, I also understand that’s how books are sold. My main point though is how do we as a congregation begin to look differently at how we fit into the world? We struggle wiht how to interact with the world, to find a brief time to enter into people lives, however the question we should be asking is how do we impact the lives of the people? HOw do we let GOd IMPACT PEOPLE’s lives to focus their over active lives on GOd, and see GOd working in their activities, so that when they are at work, or at home with their families, they can see their work as ‘vocation’ and see God in the midst even when we feel we are unable to take time to rest and to listen and to ‘fit in church’.

  2. Rev. L. Gail Irwin / Aug 20 2012 8:45 pm

    I was disappointed that your excerpt of the book didn’t include any general ideas about how congregations can assist with this issue. I might have used it this week when my congregation begins filling up its fall calendar with events they expect busy families to show up for. How do we re-think our very notion of “programming” in an over-programmed society?

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