Thursday, June 10, 2010

It Has Been An Interesting Week

I have been having a bit of a crisis week.  I have already considered quitting my call about 20 times.  I have thought death would be a good thing about an equal amount of time.  I have been pulled back from the brink by Nick more times than I would care to admit.  (I feel guilty for putting him through things like this.)  And I really don't want to do anything.

I know that something is going on that is beyond the triggering event.  The triggering event was a parent telling me that her children didn't feel like they belonged anymore because a quilt was taken down from the sanctuary.  They also didn't feel like they were important because I didn't meet with them on my first Sunday here and haven't gotten back to them. 

I explained that the first Sunday was NOT a good idea to have any kind of meeting and that I have been trying to schedule a meeting.  The message that I have been trying to schedule a meeting did not get to them.  The mother's comment was, "Well that is one of the challenges God has put before you as their Shepherd."  (AAAARRRRGGGGGG!!!!!!!!)

What I hate is that I am a cheerleader for getting the kids into the worship service, not just as acolytes, but as active participants.  (I have been told by the mother that her children would be upset by being referred to as "kids."  I hate the term "Youth" because it sounds so stilted and churchy.)  I am upset because the kids have Sunday School during the church service and even now, that there is not Sunday School, they are out in the fellowship hall during worship.  Maybe if they were in the sanctuary more, they would feel more comfortable in it?

But my reaction is way out of proportion to the situation.  Maybe it is the feeling of being blind-sided?  Maybe it is the feeling that the parent is using the children as a means of speaking her mind without having to take responsibility for her actions?  I don't know.  I just don't like the feeling.

I asked why the child did not come to me directly.  "She is shy."  But she is able to lob gernades over the fence when it suits her.

I never thought that a 15 year old would become my thorn.  But the chestnut is "Beware of those who introduce themselves first, they have the biggest agenda."  I guess the presumption that I would drop everything on my first Sunday to meet with her was a pretty large sign.  Oh, and I have been told how "theologically advanced" she is.  *Snarky comment witheld*

I am glad to have kids in the congregation that can think theologically, but I also do not feel I need to pass everything that I do through her filter.  I don't even ask the Bishop!  I just wish people could be a stable and emotionally mature as me!  *wink wink!*

I have written a letter to the adult leaders of the Sunday School (one of which is the mother who talked to me) stating my intent to meet with the YOUTH.  *shudders*  I also stated how I would like to have a designated student to be the contact person along with the adults and when there is a problem, the child, along with an adult (if necessary, cause I understand that the Priest can be scary, especially since I have only been here for 3 months) should bring the problem directly to me.  We shall see.

I guess I am just afraid of getting pummeled like I was in my first and second churches.  Christians can be very mean people.


BearToast Joe said...

Oh, God's wonderful people! Don't they make you just want to spit? Or kill? Like herding cats with a water pistol.
I'm having a bunch of kindergartners, right now. Makes me want to dust off my resume'
Call me. We'll commiserate.

Jay Simser said...

Well, now you know some of the reasons I am a Church Alumni. I really don't want anything to do with those people. The ones like that. She must really be something to live with. I had that type when I was a teacher. I was really happy not to have to deal with them after I retired. So, I suggest bringing the young people (not kids or children - using young people identifies them as people and important distinction) into the service. Ask them to sit together down front. Have a special sermon just for them. It makes them really feel a part of the service. Perhaps a young peoples choir could help also. Do they have a fellowship group in your church just for them. One of the reasons the mega churches are so successful is that they pander to the young people and when you get them the parents follow. Good Luck. j

Larry Ohio said...

If you don't kowtow to her she'll drag your name through the mud and ruin you before you have a chance. Then again she may do that anyway just to feed her sense of self-importance. What to do about it? Maybe you should dig up some dirt on her and use it to keep her in her place. Is that a sin? No, I think it is good social management.

Lemuel said...

You summed it up in your last sentence. Amen!
My take is that this is a woman/family who either has been running the church/pastor and/or who sees her opportunity to do so in you. I am guessing that they may have money, too, or are "big contributors". I foresee much pain for you before this is all over. Sorry to have to say that. There is a classic battle of wills brewing. As for Little Miss Theologically Advanced, she sounds like a beauty pageant wannabe and her mom is the cheerleader who never was. 15 y/o female, eh? Oh, I can smell the hormones from here!
BTW, do not, repeat, DO NOT meet with this girl EVER without another adult present!!!! and that "another adult" excludes her mom not only because the woman is her mom, but also because she is not an adult.
Good luck, Ben! My prayers go with you.