Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I just wish people would say what they mean.
I had a situation where someone in my congregation was going to have gall bladder surgery. It was going to be laproscopic surgery and she was going to be outpatient surgery. When she mentioned it, she downplayed the whole thing. I mentioned something to her on Sunday after service that I hope all goes well and to get in touch with me if there is any need. (I am only quarter-time, and she was not making it sound like it was anything big.)
On Thursday, at the vestry meeting, her husband, who is the senior warden of the vestry, said that she was upset that I didn't say anything during the service. In my year at this church, I have never had a special prayer for a person having surgery. Not that it couldn't be done, it just hasn't been in the past.
Suddenly, I am getting "OMG" things from the archdeacon who can't believe that I would "forget" this lady. Remember, this lady downplayed the whole surgery thing and didn't ask that I come to see her before the surgery.
Then I hear, "You need to work on 'connecting' with people" from the senior warden. And when I call the senior warden's wife to see how she is doing, she also says I need to "connect with people."
I see people on Sundays and when I run into them in town. I am only quarter time. I don't know what else I should be doing. These people made no effort of inviting me over to their home or finging opportunities to connect. But because I did not do something that they thought that I should, then I was not "connecting."
Please people, be kind to your clergy. They are humans trying to do the best they can. They are not psychic: if you don't tell them, they don't know. They have lives and troubles. They DON'T have "the pastor" to talk to because they ARE the pastor. You are NOT the main focus of their life. They care about you, but there are also things that happen in their lives too.