Friday, May 1, 2009

Can WeTalk?

Sigh. I have two retired pastors in Church-Around-the-Corner's congregation. One is an old-time EUBer, who I've known for years and the other just retired last year and CATC is his home church. I dearly love both of these guys. They have been valuable resources for history and advice. They also continually tell folks, "I'm retired. You need to talk to the Pastor." I really appreciate that.

Dilemma. The most recent pastor has also retired, but doesn't live in the area. So far in my tenure here, he's tried to get the Administrative Assistant fired for not finding his wife's transfer into CATC years ago. He's been inviting former parishoners to take cruises with him and his wife (You know - get six couples to accompany you and you get to cruise for free.) And last night, I was informed that he will be coming back to perform a baptism on June 28th for a couple who wants their baby baptized.

The cruise I don't mind. The Administrative Assistant issue and baptism I do mind.

The Pastor is ultimately responsible for the church records up-keep. It isn't the AA's fault that he didn't notice that his wife's membership had not been recorded. In fact, the records during his tenure have been hit or miss at best. In greater fact, his three predecessors had lousy record keepers too. Retired Pastor #1 (the EUBer) was the last best record keeper.

I appreciate the AA. She's like Message Central in the church. We get a lot of folks who just "pop" in. She is gracious and handles the interruptions well. She's also the gatekeeper for the Community Food Pantry which CATC hosts. She treats everyone with dignity and respect. She keeps track of meetings, meeting minutes, changing meetings and meeting reminders. (Previous pastor was never here, so PPRC only met once a year to set his salary.) She also puts together our powerpoint for worship. She juggles the demands of church and Community DayCare requests. She rocks! Is she the best secretary I've ever had? No. But she has my back and I have hers.

Previous Pastor got his shorts in a twist and demanded the Church Council Chair fire the AA. CCC ame to me and asked if I knew about the problem (Thank the Lord he is a reasonable and rational guy!). I hadn't and thought the request to dismiss her was a bit extreme and asked CCC to have Previous Pastor contact me. And of course, PP did not. And of course, AA wasn't.

PP was here last week to officiate at a interment of a former church family member who died on Good Friday. He and the family were close. I was told by a family member that he would be doing the service AND the church WOULD have a funeral dinner for them. I helped serve the dinner. And did PP talk to me? No. He said "Hi, Pastor," ate his meal and left. In all fairness, I didn't go to him either. He was constantly surrounded by CATC folks who wanted to renew acquaintances and I was busy washing dishes.

Now, we have this issue of baptism. Did PP contact me to ask if he could perform the baptism or did he advise the parents to contact me? No, he did not. PP performed dedications upon request (Not allowed anymore.) He performed baptisms upon request without counseling the
parents or the baptized-to-be if a youth or adult. He made my life more difficult by performing the dedications of infants. "But PP did it!!!"

But to come in and do this! June 28th is our GAP Service (Gather at the Pavillion) and we will be outside. We've already got the Worship lined up. And I got to tell the parents that (1) I will not let PP officiate (he can assist - if he asks me ) at the baptism and (2) June 28 will not work.

PP left this church a mess. His life was his Mission Corporation and he was not here more often than he was here.

I think I'm going to send him an e-mail and CC it to the DS.

2 comments:

jean said...

What a mess! Prayers coming your way. I am in the middle of trying to clean up membership records. Some previous pastors made no entries of baptisms, etc.

TN Rambler said...

Sounds to me like previous pastor needs a good talking to by the DS.