Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pastoral Rant - Part 1 (be advised, there will be more)

My congregation is just fantastic about respecting my day off. They really are.
The only calls I might receive are from my office manager (because no one ever respects her day off!) or the funeral director.

But living in a small town, there are people who either A. don't have a pastor, and call me. or B. don't go to their own pastor, and call me.

Unfortunately, they don't understand the concept of a sabbath. They call me at my home. It's gotten to the point that I don't answer the phone much on this day- yes, I admit it, I screen my calls.

For some people, they apologize for bothering me on my day off, but could I:
"do this thing that could easily have been done tomorrow, that actually could have been taken care of by the office staff, but since the office is closed, I am calling you, because I am thinking about it now."


"Hello, I wanted to invite you to my house today to sit with me and have tea" translation: I know you are not my pastor, but mine won't listen to me, so I am assuming you will help me under the guise of me trying to be your friend."

This latter one will translate in to rant part 2, but for now:

Why, why, why?

Thanks, I'm feeling better already!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

weddings weddings everywhere...

I just had lunch with a young woman whose wedding I will be officiating at next month. Normally, I admit, I don't like doing weddings. They are a lot of work, mentally, emotionally, and very, very time consuming. As many pastors will say, I'd rather do a funeral any day over a wedding.

But- when I do them outside of the church, for non-members, as is the case with this woman and her fiance, I have to say, I really enjoy officiating at them.

Perhaps it is because I am no longer "in charge" of the wedding ceremony. Of course, I still help them plan it, but I simply show up, run the rehearsal and then the ceremony.

Perhaps it is because I don't know the extended families of the bride and groom. I don't need to know the idiosyncrasies, the histories, the who is not talking to who because of what stuff.

Perhaps it is because most weddings outside are a little less formal, so the illusion of a perfect wedding is lessened, and there are few "bridezillas" or "MOB dictators" (that is, mother-of the-bride)

I am a detailed person, I like things to run smoothly and with grace. But weddings, when millions upon millions of dollars are caught up in the wedding industry, I have a hard time finding the grace necessary for marriage when people are freaking out about floral decorations.

Maybe I should just start my own church policy: "I'll be happy to do your wedding, we can have the vows right after the sermon and before communion at Sunday worship. Otherwise, I'll show up at the nearest state park, and witness your vows under the pine trees."

Think it'll catch on?