I've pissed off another parishioner.

Not intentionally, of course (is it ever?). No, I don't think I've been making too many of them mad, but this one certainly was.

This morning the bishop visited our parish. This happens a little less than once a year (maybe once every 18 months?), and we pull out all the bells and whistles. The choir, the praise band, the junior choir, the bell choir, the torchbearers, the crucifer, another acolyte, two eucharistic ministers, and two priests. (Partridges were conspicuously absent from our pear tree.)

15 minutes before the service, I was in the sacristy (little room behind the alter) with two priests and a bishop (and a lot of other people) wondering where our little torchbearers were. Well, they were out singing with the praise band. I let them know that they needed to get into their little robes and get ready. After the service, the leader of the praise band came into the sacristy, told me in no uncertain terms that he was very angry with me, that I'd had no right to do what I did, and we were going to discuss this in greater depth later.

If I (or anyone else) had known that these kids were in the band, we'd have had them get vested earlier, and there wouldn't have been a problem. I could have waited until the end of the song, but I had no idea how long it would last, and I had a bishop and two priests ready to go, wondering where everyone was.

So I've called and left him a message, apologizing again, telling him I'd like to discuss what happened this morning, and how we can prevent it from happening again.

As my rector said, Welcome to Reality.

I remember thinking a while back, "I wonder how he does it." How, week after week, he climbs into the pulpit when a good number of the congregation are upset with him.

Well, next week I'll preach. And I guess I'll find out.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:25 AM

    Hi there, popped in from "goingjesus". Thought your post on offending parishioners was particularly pertinent as we have just said farewell to our wonderful pastor of 16 years. He of the gentle disposition and quiet mover of mountains who would never intentionally offend any of his flock (unless they were asking to be gently rocked from their complacency/traditionalism). I know that he worried constantly about each and every one of us especially if he thought he had caused offence in some unthinkable way. Since his(?) decision to move on we have seen a great weight lift from his shoulders. For the first time in many years we have seen a gleefulness in his persona that he hasn't allowed himself for a long time.
    It seems you can keep some of the people happy all of the time, all of the people happy some of the time but there's always who's gonna be someone remind of your failings when you least expect it.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins