Post #351 “Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E, becomes final today…” was part of verse from a Tammy Wynette song from 1968.
Being born, raised and confirmed in the Methodist Church, I believed for a long long time that whatever they did was not only right but the only way everything was done in ANY church. It was common place in the 1950’s and 1960’s for the Bishop to move your minister every couple of years. You just got a pastor broken in and POOF, they were gone and a new pastor arrived to be trained all over again. In the Methodist church it was common to move your minister far away to eliminate any camp (ministerial) followers. ( It would not be uncommon to lose half your congregation, if your “beloved” minister was relocated only minutes away.) Later in I learned that other denominations or affiliations treated the Ministers length of term differently.
After some number of relocation’s and church changes (within a particular denomination not to be named, because we believed that they took a hard left turn in their beliefs-ok so it was the Presbyterians-PCUSA), we came to a time in our lives to search out different affiliations. We found ourselves in a little (VERY LITTLE) Baptist church (so conservative was this Baptist Church that it would make a Southern Baptist look like a Lutheran). Their former Pastor had decided it was time to reevaluate his calling. So this little church called (hired) a former pastor who had reevaluated his reevaluation and decided to close his printing business, and move his family of five children from Kentucky to Lebanon, Indiana. Soooooo, guess what, the former pastor reevaluated his reevaluation and began a little church in a school nearby his former church AND maintained a relationship with former parishioners. The current pastor, formerly from Kentucky, said something from the pulpit that wasn’t liked by ONE who blew it out of proportion to everyone……oh, yeah the ONE wanted the old pastor back. The congregation took a vote of confidence, the Kentuckian resigned, and went into depression for three years…. I lost track of him after three years.
As I have said before, we sort of like changing churches. Actually we like to look for a church to work in, help out, make a positive affect, once accomplished, we feel a calling to look around. We were in a great, friendly church with a pastor we enjoyed. But about 12 years into the pastors calling something erupted, the waters became not so smooth between the pastor and some of the congregants. It had been coming, the pastor had felt a call to a local need that the congregation wasn’t willing to extend to. My wife and I were in our summer location, over 800 miles from home, as the snowball kept rolling and getting larger. By the time we returned the die had been cast and our pastor had found an alternative calling.
Divorce is never easy. It’s worse when not everyone wants the divorce or when children are involved. Property distribution, family associations, pictures, allegiances and memories are torn asunder.
As he was preparing to leave, our former pastor took all in stride, and looked upon his change as a positive event, that no one had done anything to precipitate this move. I ran across his history on line the other day and found that this event (the separation/divorce) cut deeper than first indicated, for he stated his many jobs and resident locations, yet nothing of the 12 years he had spent with us. Yes, Divorce is difficult.
The common thread here is that being called to serve God and paralleling that with an “employment” function doesn’t always produce anticipated positive results. Being a Pastor sort of means you need to sit around a campfire like Job while your friends are criticizing your worth.
Oh, Yeah, we’ve been looking at churches, we now find, that at our age, we are looked upon not so much as helpers but as contributors (if you get my drift).