Melissa Delker is the Associate Pastor at Melbourne’s First United Methodist Church, the red brick building with the golden steeple on New Haven, just next to historic downtown. She is a wonderful person, in the pulpit and at Celebrations Café, the church’s informal gathering place. We caught up with her hectic schedule and asked her to talk about how she balances her church life with family.
“In May of 2003, I found a part of my life coming to a close while another door of my journey was opening.” Melissa began. “The day had finally come, after four years, and I was graduating from seminary. That conclusion brought on new opportunities and adventures.”
On May 31 of that year husband Adam, 6-month-old daughter Kaley and Melissa moved into the parsonage.
“I knew that this transition and change in life was going to bring on new challenges, but had no idea what they would be. I quickly found out that the biggest challenge for me was going to be living out my calling as mother and wife alongside the calling of pastor. I was clear of the callings, but not of how they were going to exist simultaneously in my life. How was I going to live faithfully as a woman of God?”
No doubt that balancing your career, or rather calling, and active home-life isn’t a simple thing.
“Over the past year and a half I have learned how to develop and live within boundaries that have become necessary to set up in order to live a faithful and healthy life. There are only so many hours in a day and I have had to decide how those hours are going to be spent. “
I’m sure we can all relate to that. Do you carve out specific blocks of time, or do things change on a daily basis?
Melissa, energetic, bubbly and smiling, continues, “I do not schedule meetings in the early hours of the day. The earliest you will probably find me at the office is 9:00 a.m. because I do not want my house to be a hectic place first thing in the morning. I get my exercising done before Kaley awakens, then we peacefully and gradually get ready.”
“And along with that I do not spend too many evenings at the church throughout the week. Even though I could find something to do there each night I prioritize and limit myself so I am home with my family. “
We must fiercely defend family time. It’s easy to get caught up in work.
Melissa continues, “The old fashioned family dinner has become a priority in our household. We may not have the most lavishly cooked meals, but we sit down at the table, pray, eat and talk with one another. It is a must. Our dinner time together does not get messed with and that is a clear boundary that others cannot break into.“
“I have also found that play dates with other children, nights out with other moms and friends and dates with my husband are components of life that cannot be lived without. They go in my planner, just like any other appointment would.” She adds.
GreenBrevard President Eric Needle’s family is blessed to have a network of families that support each other, through play dates, holiday parties and weekend get-togethers. Melissa is a welcome addition to that group. It’s amazing, and reminds Eric of his childhood, where everyone knew each other, looked out for each other. When one mommy has a new baby, each family takes turns bringing supper. This quality of life is sorely missed in many other communities. It is something to be cherished, and keeps us connected and in love with Brevard.
Melissa, nods, smiles and finishes, “I have found that clear and set boundaries are a necessity in order to live in a busy world. My success does not depend on how others think I have done in the workplace for the day, but on how I have faithfully lived out each and every aspect of the life that God has given me.”
Thank you Melissa, and welcome to Brevard.
Visit First United Methodist Church at 110 New Haven Avenue (US 192) in Melbourne. Call 321-723-6761or visit their site at www.fumc-melb.org