Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The End is in Sight

It's very early in the morning. Still an hour or more before the rest of my family wakes up but I can't sleep.

On this blog I've tried to capture the emotional essence of my experience without describing events in specific because, really, who cares? This isn't a historical account. Today I just have to cut to the chase.

My husband is resigning from our congregation. The meeting a couple of days ago was with the church council to discuss his intention. The council members seemed to get it - why he is leaving, what their responsibility is to us as we go, that this is a big risk for us. The senior pastor and congregation president, on the other hand...

Were I to write a novel about church conflict, I could not invent a scene to more clearly express the interpersonal and managerial ineptitude that plagues this congregation. My husband described briefly how the congregation president and senior pastor have made it clear that they require we leave the church. Responses from council members were varied, but all compassionate and involved. Cong. president said little until confronted and senior pastor sat in the back of the room reading a book. Bizarre is kindest description I can muster.

The very good news is that there is an end date. The bad news is that I do not feel relieved. I am &%#)!# angry. I don't know what I thought was going to happen. I suppose I hoped that senior pastor would make some small gesture of regret, apology, compassion. He has known of my husband's intention to resign for several weeks and continues to be all business. Sometimes I imagine that he might try to say goodbye to me in some noble, we-wish-you-well sort of way and I might smack him. It seems so satisfying in my imagination.


  1. You and your husband, whomever you may be, are in my prayers. I've been the resigning pastor before--though in my case, I was at least in part responsible for my own downfall--and even when it's a necessary transition, it's not an easy transition.

    Does your husband intend/hope to return to parish ministry?

    By the way, don't slap him, as satisfying as it may sound. From what you've said, he sounds like the kind of guy who would press assault charges, piling insult on insult.

  2. I'm sorry that you don't feel any relief, and that it had to come to resigning. I know how it feels to not have that apology or even acknowledgment of wrong-doing. My husband is a LCMS Pastor and in November he was asked to resign. He refused and spent the next few months defending himself against serious character attacks. Finally the person who was "in charge" of these attacks resigned his position. He never apologized or anything. I too felt like slapping or shaking him and saying do you realize what's been going on. He is still a member of the congregation, but I still keep praying for him and maybe some reconciliation. I'll pray for that for you too. God's blessings to you and your family.
    A fellow PW in WI

  3. Thank you both. Yes, he hopes to return to parish ministry. We're trying to manage this phase in a way that does not destroy that possibilty and to trust God for the rest.

    No worries about physical assaults on anyone. I vent here so that I won't there.


  4. If you or he needs an ear/shoulder/punching bag, I've been there. revalkorn (at) gmail (dot) com.

  5. Dear Mrs. P,

    I've read your posts with great sadness, as there is waaaay too much of what you and your husband experienced going on in our beloved Synod. I am not a Pastor, but a fellow synodical church worker. I have experienced betrayal and have been greatly sinned against by my board. It has taken me almost five years to heal from this (towards the organization), however, I am not currently serving and probably will never get a Call to serve as our DP has been no help at all! I still suffer from the wounds and often find myself wondering of God's plan and purpose for these things that have happened in my life. Trust is hard, and I find myself on the edge of that trust. I have to keep reminding myself that the church on earth is an institution and sinful, that the Church Triumphant is what I look forward to...

    I pray your transition is peaceful for you and your family, the congregation acknowledge the blessings of your ministry (both you and your husband), the boards/council/pastor etc. seek forgiveness for their "known and unknown" sins.

    Prayers and God's Peace to you all.


Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.