More "fun time" with Stage Mom and Miss Diva!
The letter I would like to send. (Beware, totally snarky!)
I am writing this because I am at a loss.
First off, I am at a loss for the anger that I feel is being directed toward me. I have to assume that this anger is displaced because we really do not know each other well enough for the amount that is present.
You say I have not done enough to be pastoral. In what manner? What do you want me to do? I will not do therapy, I am your priest, not your therapist. I can be supportive of you during the process, but it would be inappropriate for me to offer to do therapy.
You say I ignored your mother when she had surgery. Your mother did not say anything to me. If she is upset, I wish she would say something. If I also remember right, this was right between Palm Sunday and Easter. I was living in Lansing at that time. I think I did offer to visit. I don’t remember. However, this feels like an attempt to find something to be angry about and this incident provides a way of channeling your anger toward me.
I feel it is important for the children to be in worship. Children add to the worship of the congregation and it is our duty, as Christians, to help each other grow. Miss Diva using the excuse that she doesn’t get anything out of worship is a strawman argument in that she has not been present in enough services to make that decision. Also, from you words and attitude and her words and attitude, it would not make any difference what I preach. I get the distinct impression that you consider Miss Diva to be more advanced than I. That is ok, you can believe that. But that doesn’t mean that I have to change the church to make her happy.
I am sorry, but nothing I do can make you happy. There are too many other things going on in your life and until you deal with that, you are going to keep blaming others for your unhappiness. If you get rid of me, then what? You will not be pleased with the next priest either, I can guarantee that! No one is going to live up to the secret agenda you have. And since no one can live up to it, what good does it do?
You told Senior Warden that pastoral care has been absent here for four years. I have only been here 3 months. I AM NOT THE ONE WHO YOU ARE ANGRY WITH!
Do you realize that in saying that I should meet with your daughter outside the church because she is very possessive of the church and will fight me about it, you are giving her tacit permission to be a bully? You are telling her that she just has to beat, or browbeat, people until she gets what she wants. This is what passes for parenting these days?
And you really cannot be surprised that I retracted the offer to have Miss Diva preach. You acted like you got shocked when I said that I would be working with her to write a sermon. Did you think I was just going to let her go? Especially after the display she put on? But then again, you seemed to enjoy it. The “apologize to Fr. Ben” was a nice touch. But WAYYYYY too late. And the smug, “I told you she would be upset,” let me know that you have no respect for me.
You say that I don’t show you any respect! I would never let my child give you a dressing down in public. My child would be treating you with respect and dignity. If you want respect, you, AND YOUR CHILD, need to be willing to give it.