Friday, May 06, 2011

Friday Five: Word Association

Songbird writes: It's been a busy week for me, trying to get back into the routine after a post-Easter vacation. (How did it get to be Easter 3?) So to keep it simple, here's a Word Association Friday Five, with a bonus twist for those feeling creative. First, for each of these five words -- all of which remind me of my *most* excellent vacation -- share the first word that comes to mind when you read it.

1) Airport: crowded
2) Baseball boring
3) Art children
4) Chocolate dark
5) Grill asparagas

Bonus: Tell us a story that comes to mind based on one of the word pair.
T-ball is the hilarious exception to boring baseball. I have so much fun going to the games and watching them run around! Last weekend, my daughter's t-ball team was "covered" by the local news. So funny! They were so excited to be on TV ...and for the ice cream party they received! It's on my Facebook page for those who know me IRL.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday Five: Perks of Ministry

Hello, blogosphere! I've decided to play today's RevGal Friday Five. Kathrynzj invites us to ponder the perks of being in ministry, of which there are many.

1. In my setting, I don't have to ask permission to leave the office to take my kids to the dentist or to go see a program at their school. In the brief time I was a hospice chaplain, I hated having to fill out the personal time off form at least a week in advance and then waiting to see if I got approval. I like being more or less the boss of my own schedule.

2. As a PC(USA) pastor, I am blessed with ample vacation and study leave. Not to mention our other benefits. I am truly grateful.

3. The food..though I wish there were less of it!

4. I get paid to read books.

5. I am invited into the most sacred moments of peoples' lives. Nothing better than that.

Thanks, Kathrynzj. It's been nice on this snowy day to think about the blessings, big and small, of being a pastor.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Bits and Pieces

We're going to put our house up for sale. Painters in the much fun.

I know I'm pushing myself too hard.

I know I'm pushing some people too hard, while not nudging some people enough.

I have deacons who refuse to visit people.

Why don't people understand that the statement, "I don't feel comfortable with that," is not a conversation ender, but a conversation starter?

That's all for right now.

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Graceful Exit

Well, it's done.

A member of the Personnel Committee showed up at 8:30 this morning and he didn't want to waste any time hemming and hawing. So, we walked into the church office and told her... simply and as kindly as we could.

For a fleeting moment, I could see in her face an inner conflict:"Do I tell them off or do I leave with grace and dignity?" She chose the latter, which honestly, made it all the harder on me. It's easier to feel justified when someone cusses you out or tells you that you're a terrible person.

I must say, today I got a lesson in graciousness.

After the news sunk in a little bit, she said, "Well, I guess God doesn't want me here and I believe that 'everything works out for good for those who love God...'" She collected her belongings, went to the restroom and came into my office and asked me to have prayer with her. She proceeded to pray a lovely prayer asking God to lead and guide me and that we might find the right person to fill the position. It was then my turn and I wasn't nearly as eloquent as I tried to find the words asking God to bless and guide her.

If only her office skills were as great as her heart. *sigh*

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I'm Sure I Won't Get Any Sleep Tonight

Tomorrow I'm firing my Admin Assistant. Some of you may recall, last Summer we put her on an improvement plan. Things haven't improved; the newsletter was a mess this month and the bulletin had several mistakes that I had pointed out before I left. Unfortunately, this is par for the course with her...and I found out today that she was late several days and took off early while I was on vacation this past week. Like 3 hours early.

It would be a lot easier if I didn't genuinely like her. I truly do. She's a sweet, sweet woman.

But not cut out for this work.

I feel like a jerk.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Long Overdue Update and Goodbye, 2009

Wow, way for me to keep you hanging...

I am still processing what took place as I visited that young man in the jail; it was not pleasant. It was about a 5 minute walk down a windowless hallway to where he was being held. When I walked into the visitation area, I saw him sitting on the other side of the thick glass. At first, he didn't know who I was, even though I had just seen him a few days prior at church.

When I asked him how he was doing he replied, "Hey, I got 3 squares a day." It turns he had just been kicked out of the place he was staying, probably on a couch, and didn't know what to do. He told me that he threw a rock at the bank's door and announced he was going to rob the bank so that he would get arrested and therefore, have a place to stay.

After we talked a bit more, I asked if I could pray with him and he consented.

Then, the conversation took a strange turn...

Him: "Well, I know you're just here because it's your job, but thanks for coming anyway."

Me: "No, I'm here because the congregation and I are concerned about you. We've been glad that you've been worshipping with us. I'm sorry we didn't know you were struggling."

Him: "Well, your visits won't get me a job, won't put a roof over my head. So, no thanks."

Me: who knows what I said here...I can't remember...probably something entirely unhelpful...

Him: "I don't want a relationship with you. Don't call me; I'll call you. Hey, it feels good to say that to someone else for a change."


I haven't been back. I'm not sure if that is the right thing or not. It's possible that if I went back, he wouldn't even remember that I had been there. I'm not a psychiatrist, but it is clear that he has some significant mental health issues. (Duh.)

The fact remains that he sought us out for several weeks and I didn't follow up with him. True, he never left any contact info, but I didn't try very hard because he made me uncomfortable. That's the truth.

So, like I said, I'm still processing this and taking it into my prayer.
I am going to maintain my blog, for now. Since I began my new call at the beginning of the year, I have had less and less time and inclination to blog. However, I miss my blogging buddies and will try to do a better job of keeping up with you all. I am Facebook friends with many of you, which I enjoy so much.

Happy new year, my friends!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Prayers, Please...

A young man who has been worshiping with my congregation for a couple of months was arrested this afternoon for attempting to rob a bank.

He has been extremely faithful in coming to worship; he has only missed one Sunday since we first saw him. He never wanted to talk after the worship service, but he had begun to at least greet me in the receiving line. Some of our members, myself included, have wondered if he has some developmental disabilities.

My space bar keeps sticking, so I'll stop now. Please pray, as I am sure he is frightened and I am sure there is much more to this story.