Saturday, March 1, 2008

Of Sermons and Surveys

So Betty and family have been on me pretty hard this week with their anti-intern venom, etc... Last Sunday we announced in worship that our intern will be returning next year and that kicked off their public anti-intern campaign. In my office, Betty has even attacked our intern's grandchildren because the one stuck her tongue out at her granddaughter. Nevermind that this is the only church intern's grandchildren have ever WANTED to go to and in their volatile home setting have actually declared that their Mom should come with them.

I don't understand how there can be NO grace for these grandchildren by Betty and family and yet they continue to invite TOW1 and her family back to worship with us weekly. Why does an adult who made a concious choice to go after her friend AND pastor's husband get absolution while ADHD children are considered not worthy of a little forbearance?

One friend compared this family to sharks circling in the water and I think she has it right. They are pushing and pushing me, waiting for me to snap so they can show how TOW1 isn't so bad after all. Worse is they are desperate as the folks who are normally at their beck and call, ready to line up behind them no matter what are nowhere to be found. For whatever reasons, these folks have left Betty and family on their own in this fight which actually makes them a bit more dangerous and has my attention very much on them.

With that kind of attention in their direction it is hard to focus on writing a sermon for the masses. I so want to turn the Gospel of John into a direct hit on that family that my sermon is, of course, going nowhere. I am hoping venting here will help clear my head and get back to the Message that is really waiting to be said.

A couple of other notes... two days after I received the decree in the mail I filled out a survey that of course ended with the relationship status check boxes.
__ Single
__ Married
__ Widowed
__ Divorced

What I really wanted was another box:
__ Divorced but there are people who can attest that it really wasn't your fault.

Then to take it to the next level there was another grouping that had something like, "How would you best describe your household?"
__ Married, with children
__ Married, without children
__ Single, never married, no children
__ Single parent

It was something like that, from my own denomination no less!
And on a separate note could someone please tell the upper body of my denomination that this is the earliest Lent has been in a long, long, time and maybe they should save their surveys for APRIL! This is the second one I have been asked to do since the beginning of the year.

One last thing, tdx's father died on Thursday so he was divorced and orphaned in the same week. I am quite sure none of you are fans of him but suffice to say that even my family is quite worried about him. There is nothing we can do, we get that. But the death of both parents and a divorce in two months is a lot to bear especially since we know that although he never chose to change his course, he does get that the demise of our marriage is 99% on him and his inability to remember when it counted all that we had that was worth salvaging.

20 comments:

cheesehead said...

(o)

PK said...

down here... we call 'em alligators... and their primary purpose is to destroy. i'm sorry... and i'm sending prayers your way.

Magdalene6127 said...

(((WS)))

I don't mean to be Ms. Fixit, but have you spoken to your EP or your COM liaison about the TOW1 situation? It is just so flippin' unacceptable that you should have to look at her in your congregation, it makes me want to blow a gasket.

I'll stop now.

Jane Ellen+ said...

I cannot say that I would be on the membership list for the TDX Fan Club; but that's a lot of death for anyone to handle in a short span, let alone someone who... struggles with emotional stability.

So I will be praying for him this day. And for The Boy. And for you.

Drew said...

It's folks in congregations all over that are so myopic about their little world and do not see reality for what it is that make certain seminarians choose not to go into the ministry. Or cause so many good young pastors to drop out. Evil is a subtle little sucker and comes out in quiet little jabs more often than a great right hook.

Regarding TDX, hate to pull out the term, but karma is a bitch. My sister just calls it a "God smack". Not that anyone deserves those experiences, but the circle of life comes back around and knocks you once in a while. Can't help but feel that a little natural justice works within that process...

Identity Mixed said...

I worry for TDx. Some day it will all crash down around him.

Teri said...

I am at a loss for words. I want for there to be something about Betty and family that I can say "well, they do it because _____" but having read about them I have a strong suspicion that nothing nice would end that sentence!
So I'll stop my whole trying-to-see-the-good-side thing and instead go with hate-people-on-behalf-of-a-friend.

grr.

and ]*

St. Casserole said...

(o) and an arm punch thingie

more cows than people said...

sheesh. that's all i've got. sheesh!

lifting you all up.

Tiffany said...

Sending you prayers, hugs, and vodka.

dust bunny said...

Waves of support for you (tiny dribbles of sympathy for tdx...he's a sad, sad mess)

Towanda said...

(o)

Crimson Rambler said...

you are right,I think, that they're "dangerous when desperate" and that happens when they realize they've lost their constituency...I have a "Betty" also. Toxic, toxic, toxic.

Sue said...

]*

Reformed Catholic said...

will smama said:My Session and Clerk are 100% behind me on this and today there was discussion about whether Betty and family need to be reprimanded, etc...

Thank the Lord you have a Session that is actually willing to take a member to task for harming the peace of the church.

Problem is, I suspect that Betty et al will then pack their bags for another church.

Kathryn said...

]*

God_Guurrlll said...

Prayers, hugs and sunlight.

Mary Beth said...

Bye, Betty & Co!

sherry said...

Fugly Betty.

RevHRod said...

A pastor/professor/preacher once said that folks like Betty aren't alligators- they're dinosaurs. And we all know what happened to them. Stronger folks won out.

Prayers for all.