Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Church Comes to a Close ~ 5: Worn Out By The Thought of It All

There is a building and all of its contents to deal with.  Want a piano?  Want a box of files from 1972?  Want enough china to serve 200?  No, no one does.
There is the post-departure building security in a troubled neighborhood to deal with.  More lighting, says the police department.  Plow and mow, says the Presbytery.  Stay open, says the day care.  Got money?  No, no one does.
There is the neighborhood to which to attend.  Got bus passes?  Got food?  Got grocery cards?  Nope, running out of all of them.  (Well, then, could I have one of the refrigerators? asked a gentleman yesterday.  I don't have food, but I can get a truck.)
There are the members to love.  Where shall we go?  What about my funeral? Who do I talk to, if I need a pastor?   Not here, not here, not me.
There is the pastor to . . . what?  Where are you going?  Will the Presbytery find you a church?  Are you staying in town?  Are you ok?  No idea, reduplicated.  (That is a funny term from seminary Greek.  How the hell do you RE-duplicate anything?  I don't remember what it means, but I still find it humorous.)
And now: The presbytery is hoping we will have a reception after our final service (with which the presbytery will end our congregational life and which no member wants to attend), and wants to celebrate the THREE churches we are closing in our area in the next three months with a presentation or Powerpoint or something or other at the November presbytery meeting. 
So . . .  while you are running to the hospital to see members briefly felled by stress and while you are trying to figure out where you rent a dumpster and while you are listening to "I just can't believe it" (reduplicated) and while you are trying to figure out what to do about your health insurance, would you mind making a Powerpoint of high enough quality for a large crowd?
Oh, and hey, Pastor, don't forget about Self Care!  OK?  You'll do that, too, right?



  1. I find most presbytery responses these days much like the way The Message puts the writer of Ecclesiastes words into perspective...smoke nothing but smoke!

    Being present to so much grief and pain is beyond hard. And then there is the practical stuff...seems like it would be up the presbytery to take care of the building once it is is in their trust after all.


  2. I'm so sorry for what you and your members are going through. It was heartbreaking to me when it happened at my church - I'm still not really over it and it's been years now. Blessings to you all as you each look for a new church home and family.