Sunday, April 25, 2010

Two-Thirds of the Weekend Gone

Well, it is early Sunday morning. Nick is still asleep but I am awake. Oh well.

So far, this has been an interesting weekend. It started Friday with the FUNERAL!  I have to say that it didn't go too bad.  I also have to say that the former priest was pretty good.  I had suggested she do the readings in the funeral, but when we got to the planning part, the widower wanted his daughters-in-law to do the readings.  So I asked the priest to do the prayers of the people.  And she agreed.  I also suggested to the widower during the luncheon that he have her do the blessings to which she agreed.

The meal went fine until the priest decided to give me "one little suggestion."  She suggested that I might want to announce which books the readings and songs are in "because in the Lutheran Church, they are all in one book, but now there are two."  I did forget to tell people which book, but after the first "oops!" moment, I did not do it again.  But she needed to bring it to my attention.  Maybe I am reading too much into the situation, but what I heard was, "You are not one of us and don't you forget it."

But that is over, and for what it is worth, it won't happen again!

Then Nick and I were off to my former Lutheran congregation for an ordination on Saturday.  Mike, the pastor being ordained, was a friend and member of the congregation when I was there.  He was also supportive of me in the process of leaving the congregation and the ELCA.

Things like this can be difficult for me and tend to dig up a lot of things involving dreams and dreams that never occurred.  But it also was not so bad because things were happening in my life.  I am back in the pulpit and back in the congregation.  There was a feeling of justification in being able to say, "See, God still calls me and can use me even though you have rejected me."  In so many words, I said this to the Lutheran Assistant to the Bishop.  She asked if I had thought of coming back.  I said, in so many words, that when the ELCA rejected me, the Episcopal Church took me in.  I have to respect their willingness to reach out and offer acceptance when it would have been easier to just turn away.

What I wasn't ready for was Nick's feelings.  I am not going to go into it here, that is his story to tell.  But what he has said that being in the church that had rejected me made him feel on edge.

But we made it though.  I had a chance to reconnect with some folks that I hadn't seen in years.  I had a chance to introduce Nick to some former congregants.  In all, we were graciously accepted.  If felt odd to be participating in the service but to still be an outsider.

I also realized how big of a weenie the senior pastor really is!  I am glad I am not there anymore!


Lemuel said...

I am happy to read that the funeral went well, all things considered. As for the book thingy, had you been less gracious you might have enlightened the "note which book" pastor that in the ELCA there was (and is still the potential) for a congregation to have not just 2 books, but three or more (LBW, WOV, the "rainbow" book, and even the new ELW).
I am also happy that the return visit went well.
Perhaps these two events might put to rest some demons that have afflicted you and help you to move on in Grace and Love.

Bear Me Out said...

I hate officious, self-important, obnoxious folk. Good for you for holding your own.
I can imagine that the ELCA visit may feel bittersweet. That must have been a tougher time than I can imagine.
I'm glad you in TEC! And, hey, the Church Pension Fund is better anyway.