Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Rats!

We say goodbye to a clergy couple this week. I can't tell you how sick I am of clergy folk moving around! They're moving about three hours north of here but this means that I can't see them often and their focus will change to a new place, new congregations, etc. I wish everyone would stay in one place so I could enjoy them for years.

I've mentioned that the majority of my clergy pals are UMC. These are my coffee drinking buddies who can cut through the bull faster than a butcher, love you when you are love-less and make you laugh when you have abdominal stitches. I'm not kidding, these people are treasures to me.

But, durn it, they are UMCs. Those folks move around about every 2-4 years. It's not that we presbyies don't move, but we seem to flow through the Bible Belt at a more leisurely pace. I don't move. My husband has an established business so we stay here. I may wander off into the country, but I live HERE. This has made me a senior member of my presbytery for longevity alone. And, I've become familar with seeing my sisters and brothers in Christ leave the area.

Rats!

Everyone needs friends. We all need people we can relax with, tell stuff we won't mean tomorrow and reflect on how dreadful/beautiful life is for us. I think that clergy may need friendship with peers even more. We aren't friends with our congregants. We love and cherish them but our leadership/shepherd stuff means that no matter how close our hearts are to the other, we are their pastor, not pal.

So, it's good to find other clergy and become friends. I may have the best situation as my clergy pals are UMC while I'm PC (USA). We don't compete over professionally or over territory.

I can call these folks any time of day or night. Quite an accomplishment for me when I've spent so many years feeling isolated in ministry.

I'm becoming dependent on another group of clergy, my bloggie gal pals in ministry. We resonate. We hyper-ventilate. We laugh. We are daff. Oh! Thank you, Lord for them! See my comments sections for links to these GREAT GALS.

7 comments:

Preacher Mom said...

This really resonates with me! As the preacher of a small church in a small town that is an outpost, so to speak, in our presbytery, I get really lonely sometimes. (Make that frequently.)In this conservative predominantly Baptist town, I am "shunned" to one degree or another by most of the other pastors. My UMC buddies have come and gone. I'm on my 3rd UMC pastor friend in the 6 years I've been here. I treasure them and miss them dearly when they are gone. Anytime I learn that another change is taking place across town, I remind God how much the Presbyterian minister needs a good UMC pastor!

reverendmother said...

Your post gives me hope! (Although I'm sorry your friends are moving away.) I need to cultivate more clergy friendships. It's happening, slowly. My lectionary group helps, but we meet every 6 weeks or so (for about four hours). We had a clergy couple over for dinner last Friday and it was so nice.

the reverend mommy said...

And us UMCs need you Presbyterians, UCCs and Episcopalians. My spiritual director is Episcopalian for this very reason. I depend on the kindness of strangers (or at least the clergy of other denominations.) I feel this is definitely a community -- one day we meet face to face, yes?

PPB said...

I hate goodbyes. (0)

Songbird said...

I could have sworn I responded to this post the other day! I treasure my clergy pals, especially the women. It's good to feel safe in your weaknesses and flaws.
And I'm sorry these friends are being moved out of town, St. C.

Friday Mom said...

Goodbyes are hard, especially when its with ones who know what the clergy life is like and can be supportive. The blogger pals have been especially helpful to me lately. I'm very grateful for them.

Friday Mom said...

Goodbyes are hard, especially when its with ones who know what the clergy life is like and can be supportive. The blogger pals have been especially helpful to me lately. I'm very grateful for them.