Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pissed off rant

I hate getting into those "no win" situations!!!!

One of the people that I mentioned before that was in Hospice has died.  It really was a blessing that she passed and she was surrounded by her husband and her family.

Now, this is where the "no win" situation comes in.  The widower asked me if it was possible for the former pastor to be involved in the service.  My first response was "no!"  This was not because I am an ego maniac or anything, I just do not feel that it is appropriate to have the former pastor involved in the service.  She is not the spiritual leader of the community any more and should not be expected to be part of the service; especially this soon after leaving. But if I say "no," than I look like the big, bad, meanie.

So I said "yes" hoping that the former pastor would know that the appropriate response would be to thank the widower for asking her, but to tell him that it would not be appropriate for her to be a part of the service.  She could be at the service, but to be an active part would not help the transition of the congregation to the new pastor.

Well, you guessed it:  She does not have good boundaries.  She first started by telling me how to put together the service.  I informed her that I was familiar with the service and had, in fact, just performed a funeral.  Then she said that she was planning on just showing up at the meeting I was having with the widower to plan the service.  Then she was wondering if she could assist with the Eucharist. 

I explained that she would not be vesting for this; she could do the readings or some other part.  Then she went off about that is not what the Bishop said last November.  Then there was a comment about how if I was not secure in my position and that I was "new to this..."  She said she knew I was the priest...  (yadda, yadda, yadda...)  But really didn't give me any sign that she believe I was the priest.

I hate this.  I would say "no" but then I look like a bad guy.  I say "yes" and she goes to show that I should have said "no!"  Aaarrrrggg!!!

Oh well, this will just be a one time thing.  I will not be having a lot to do with this woman.  I guess I am learning why she was asked to leave the congregation.


Lemuel said...

My suggestion is that you discuss this with your bishop. She is *way* out of line! I can understand the request of the widower. I can understand the temptation of the former rector to accept, but her response is not indicative of a professional. Do you have any "Standards of Professional Conduct" document in your diocese? If not, the bishop should see that one is instituted immediately. In my annual conference we have such and it speaks to the issues of returning to a former parish to perform acts of ministry. Of course, that did/does not stop the ego-driven jerks.
Whenever I left a parish, I clearly informed the people that I would not return *at all* for one full year and after that I would only return at the expressed invitation of the pastor in charge and only to *assist* him/her. There have been times when it was painful, but it was right.
This former pastor obviously does not understand grace and is caught up in her own ego. Her actions and attitudes are a major reason why congregations cannot grow in the faith and move forward. She is out of line and the Bishop needs to read her the riot act.
You're pissed? I'm pissed reading this and very pissed for your sake. Good luck, this incident will tax your grace, but by your grace I hope that you will come out the winner in spite of it all.

Benton said...

One other comment that was said, "Well, I AM going to continue to be friends with [the widower], you cannot stop me from doing that. We go fly fishing together."

Bear Me Out said...

Ugh! I'll email you. Listen to the wise Lemuel.

Urspo said...

When you feel darned if you do and darned if you don't, it is best to be 'darned' for what you feel is right.
Meanwhile, take note of what happened so as not to repeat this in the future.

"Limits and structure' remain a good mantra.