Well, tomorrow should be interesting.
It is the Annual Meeting. I am not sure what is going to happen. I am hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
In preparation, I have an observer from the Bishop's office coming. Hopefully people will more likely be on their best behavior if we have "company." I just hope that people will not get nutzo.
As I said before, I sent out a "play nice or leave" letter. It was a good letter if I do say so, myself. I did tell them that I was not kicking them out, but they would need to change their behavior. I got a letter for the Former Secretary telling me that the letter was hateful and she cannot understand why I am making mountains out of mole hills, that my attitude is what is toxic, and that speaking to my colleagues and finding out about the history of the congregation is rumor-mongering. She still claims utter innocence on any of this.
I know that I am probably over reacting to this, but it is what it is. I know that it is a catastrophic response, and I am taking the drugs that I need to take. But I still am of the assumption that something needs to change here (and quickly!) or I need to go. When I have extreme abdominal pain and I actually get excited because if I am in the hospital I don't have to deal with the Annual Meeting, I think this is very telling. So either I need therapy, the congregation needs therapy, or most likely, we both need therapy.
I am actually planning on doing a preemptive strike by addressing the letter to the Former Secretary and the rumors she has been spreading that I kicked them out. Hopefully by bringing it up first, it will defuse any plans they had. I hate speaking like I am going to battle, but that is how it feels.
Maybe I should also keep with my initial plan and have a letter of resignation ready, just in case.
DO NOT resign at the meeting when emotions are running high. If I were you, I would put the letter at the top of the agenda. Go on the offensive without being aggressive or belligerent. Address it with an attitude of sorrow, over how far out of line a few people have stepped. Treat it like a mistake made by a respected church member, not like an attack against you. If you're defensive or doubtful, you'll be seen as weak. Calm regret will show you as assertive, and basically unruffled. This should be a "Let's move forward" meeting, and you should lead.
Carry my fierce heart with you. Good luck!
Belatedly, I wish you well. I hope all went better than you expected.
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