Let Bartlett be Bartlett.

I have a serious West Wing problem. Yes, I know that it was cancelled. Yes, I know that Season 6 was really, really bad.

Maybe it's because I love Martin Sheen-- I'm not going to lie, that's a possibility.
There's a wonderful scene where staffers are discussing slow progress of Bartlett's (Sheen's) administration, and his chief of staff comes up with an action plan "Let Bartlett be Bartlett."
I mention this because I met with our new bishop today, and I left feeling frustrated-- I've been fumbling when I try to articulate my call, or why I'm committed to the church, and it's not like me to get brain-tied. As the discernment process goes on (and on and on), I'm struggling to be clear and to be comfortable. For a program that's raising up leaders, aspirants/postulants/candidates often aren't encouraged to share their own voices. It's past time to stop listening to spiritual directors and priests who insist that there's a "right" way to pray (and that right one is not the one I've found works for me). I want my voice back. I want to give myself the freedom to be "wrong" to those who disagree with me. After two and a half years of interviewing for the same job, I'm ready to try letting Bartlett be Bartlett. Of course, there's still at least three years of interviewing left.


  1. Yes! Let Mrs. M be Mrs. M! I am on my Presbytery's Committee on Preparation for Ministry. I am always saying to candidates, "Please speak from your heart. You know the answers, they are there." I'm less interested in correct "seminary" answers than if the person can connect Word and sacrament together and talk about theology in regards to the rhythms and practices of the worshipping community.

    Concerning your sense of call- your "call story" is something that is completely and utterly unique to you. Let Mrs. M be Mrs. M! At least for our committee, we just want to hear persons articulate a sense of call that necessitates ordination to the pastoral ministry. That usually is simply, "I sense God calling to be a pastor and others in my faith community have affirmed that."

    I'm sorry you are frustrated. I hope this new bishop's main interest is in helping you to become the best pastor you can be. I'm praying for you.

  2. Honest, heart felt post here. I hear you. I remember.


"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