This is a strange topic, I know.
Bear with me…
Twenty years ago, I stopped being Catholic and “converted” to being a Lutheran so we could be married at my husband’s family church. His parents were married there too….sixty five years ago.
I took an active role in the church – helping in the nursery, being on the hand bell choir, helping the monthly shifts at the local Free Meal place (Luke House), assembling school kits, adopting families for the holidays, giving tree participation, helping out the food pantry, assisting the Homeless Ministry, and more. (Yes, it is a HUGE church with a lot of ways to serve the community). I met a lot of wonderful people, grew a lot spiritually with amazing Sunday sermons and bible studies and came to really enjoy/respect the leadership team. I am very fond of some of those same people, yet today.
Keep in mind, I was raised catholic. When you had family issues, needed guidance, wanted someone to pray with you… you went to your priest. I have always been close to my priest/pastor.
People retire. People move on for better offers, etc. The pastors (Lutheran speak for priest) I had bonded with so well are no longer a part of our church. My absolute favorite retired, several have moved on and the sweet one who married us is now dealing with Cancer and retiring early.
How huge is my disconnect?
I shared with you this summer, what happened in my little world. I thought everything was wonderful and learned that a lot of it had fallen apart behind my back..
On that day, I called the two important men in my life, crying and spilling my guts.
They were the most awkward phone calls of my life…..
Sadly, over six months later – I have yet to hear or see any follow up. Not even a “How are things?”
One is a family member, and I can’t really do anything about that… the other was my pastor.
I know, he is a busy man and is trying to fill the shoes of someone who is still adored by so many. He simply is more of an administrator… not so much the warm and fuzzy person you can take a problem to or ask for help.
How can you do a sermon about Jesus and the lost sheep — when you can’t put it into practical use? To have someone in your flock who you know is hurting … that you can’t even shoot an note to or make a quick call to?
It’s become too difficult to listen to sermons from a man who does a great job talking about people’s feelings but can’t actually relate to them…does that make sense? What is really sad is the fact that in a church of over 5,000 people, I can’t be the only one who tried to talk with him….
That is problem number one.
I have also spent the last 18 months trying to get the Blessing Bag program as a solid ministry for our church. It would compliment all the other areas of our Homeless Ministry and is such a simple thing. I have attempted, more than once, to get things rolling and it’s never the correct time.
It’s pretty much been me, and another person doing it all when it could be SO easy!
I have approached another church about the program and, in less than two weeks, get to visit and explain things to their congregation. Eighteen months vs two weeks….and they are really excited about the opportunity.
That was problem number two.
I need to be part of a church where I don’t seem like just another number, where I can make a difference and where I feel my spirit enriched. Where I can converse with my spiritual leader and know I have a person I can lean on if I need a little support. I don’t expect them to have all the answers but it would have been nice if someone could have held me while I cried, prayed with me or even helped me find a passage or two in the bible that could help be draw the strength I needed at the time…
So, I have a few meetings coming up with other church pastors — to see what might be a good fit for me and if they have a good program for children as I want Miss Sarah to to have the kind of experiences that I did in the past.
I never want her to have an awkward phone call……