Atonement & Honor

Contributed by Tom Stearns

October is traditional for Columbus Day and Halloween. However, there are two other days that are far more important - Yom Kippur and Clergy Appreciation or Pastor Appreciation Day.

Yom Kippur:
Yom Kippur means Day of Atonement. Appropriately, people set aside this day to atone for sins they have committed. It is a day of prayer, fasting and a time to attend the synagogue. Jewish people will also not work on this day, one of the most important days in the Jewish calendar. During Yom Kippur, people seek forgiveness from God and seek to give and receive forgiveness and reconciliation with others. Leviticus 16:29-31 explains this day.

“And this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country or a stranger that sojourneth among you. For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you so that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It shall be a Sabbath of rest unto you and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever.” This year Yom Kippur will begin at sunset on September 29, 2017.

Pastor Appreciation Day History:
October is Pastor Appreciation Month and October 8, 2017 is Pastor Appreciation Day. Pastor Appreciation should be more than just a designated event on the calendar. The focus is to challenge churches and congregations to honor and encourage pastors throughout the year.

Clergy Appreciation Month began in 1992 as a way to encourage congregations to show their appreciation, love and support for their pastors. This affirmation can provide new life and energy for a pastor who may be dealing with burnout, disillusionment, frustration, isolation or stress. Because pastors are often “on call” around the clock, special recognition for the work they do is more than called for. (

First Timothy 5:17 states, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.” First Thessalonians 5:12-13 states, “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”

This month I would challenge you to consider your soul.  Pray, fast, seek forgiveness from God, forgive others, and trust Yeshua (Jesus) as your Messiah (Savior). Then honor your rabbi or pastor.  

Questions? Get in touch with me at or call 907-715-4001.