Friday, August 26, 2011

Where Do I Go?

Dear Pastor,
I was able to overlook the first incident. When you told W what he couldn't wear to church as the lay leder. After all, what difference do the clothes make anyway? W says it's not a huge deal to him, so I accept it.

The second was a bit harder. When T took the reigns on finding a new FM coordinator, putting her own address and email on the forms, submitting them only God knows where, and "pre-screening" candidates. I was pretty upset when you told W to back off and stop irritating T. What she was doing was wrong, period. Against the spirit of the way the church committee was supposed to work. What's the point of having a committee, if you're just going to let one person do whatever s/he wants? At that point, I was willing, even wanting, to walk away. But I've been coming still, hoping things would be better. Hoping to respect you again.

Today, though, I'm done. When you take away my right, my obligation, to celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday, I am done. In your EMAIL, you said that there's no directive as to frequency in either the Bible or the Book of Discipline. Even if that is so, the history of this particular church is having Communion every week. We celebrate Christ's last supper because we are exhorted to as often as we can, whenever we're together. It is in the Bible.

You want to replace this part of church with an altar call. Really? This is NOT a tradition of this church. I'm not opposed to new things, but I don't see why you'd have to take out something so meaningful for something else. Couldn't you do it, as W suggested when we talked, during the last song? Or after the service?

So, you see, I'm fed up. I cannot worship in a place I don't recognize anymore. In a place that seems to be turning into something I don't like. I can't listen to someone who wants to change special things that should be left alone. Someone I don't respect.

I hope it goes well for you, Pastor. I hope this change brings about whatever you are trying to accomplish. I won't be there to find out.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Mad Crazy or Crazy Mad?

My best friend, W, is the lay leader at our church. If you are unfamiliar with this "job", let me explain. The lay leader is chosen by the church to assist the pastor with various duties on Sunday mornings. At our church, this includes praying for the congregation, helping with communion, and closing prayer. W also has other duties outside of Sunday mornings, like coordinating readers and assigning more communion help. He is also a member of every single committee of the church. He is the voice of the congregation to the pastor. This is NOT a paid position.

Last week, Pastor called W to a meeting. One of the things they discussed was W's attire on a Sunday morning. Some Sundays, he wears khakis and a button-down shirt or polo. Other Sundays, he wears jeans, but always with a dressy-ish shirt. Apparently, this is unacceptable. People have complained about the way he dresses. Not about his prayers, his attitude, but his CLOTHES.

W has been attending this church for over 10 years. He has always dressed this way. No one ever had a problem with this, until the past few months.

I don't understand. Did Jesus wear a suit and tie to the synagogue every week? I'm sure he didn't go unclean, as that would have violated sacred laws. But W isn't coming to church dirty. His jeans don't have holes in them. He is always dressed well.

Outside of our church, next to the road, there is a sign inviting people to "Come as you are...REALLY!" No, it really says that. Clearly, that doesn't mean much to these small-minded so-called Christians.