Church Mediation and Late Winter Blahs

I have found in churches, as in pastors, a tendency toward depression the last month or so of winter. One church I pastored had a blow-up every year at the end of January that would intensify until the weather started getting warmer. Once the weather changed to springlike conditions the controversy would fade away almost without getting solved as people were able to laugh and joke and admit fault. Then the next year it happened all over again. This tendency was exacerbated in rural congregations with a strong connection to the land. Pastors themselves get themselves into trouble by being a little snappish as they are overworked in Lent. By spring the damage has been done and the only thing a pastor can do is move on.

The best thing a mediator can do is to uncover these patterns and explore them so congregations and pastors can see and be aware. Congregations, once aware, can choose to attribute fights to late winter blahs and laugh problems off sometimes without any need to change. Sadly most congregations overreact and are not willing to admit the impact of the weather and the cycle continues year after year.