Dear Friends, A couple of weeks ago, I was at a share group when one of the other women made, what she thought, was an innocent remark. She recalled a couple of former pastors (in a good way) and remarked how pastors just come and go in the life of the church. The important people were the laity, who where there through it all--good times and bad.
I can't tell you how this made me feel. Because she wasn't taking aim at either me or my spouse. She was just making an observation. Who could argue with that? But her comments underscored the fact that she also thought pastor's families just "come and go" as well. We are merely transients or place holders for the next clergy family. True, I might be reading more into this that she meant, even so, it hurt my feelings. It make me feel like an outsider.
How odd because so many church people think clergy families are the consummate insiders. If they only knew. While I am active in the church and have been a member longer than the couple of hundred folks who have joined since, some people will always think of clergy families as "different." When the church is a sick, unhealthy place, that is OK with me. But when the church prides itself on being a loving family, being on the outside feels like rejection.
I haven't decided if I'm going to say anything to her or not yet. Actually, I probably won't. But how do you feel? Do you feel like a part of your church? Do you want to? How do you see yourself related to your church?