Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A funny story

I've got no pictures for you here, but I have to tell this story.  First off, you have to understand that one of my biggest fears as I approach ordination is that nobody will take me seriously as a 24 year old woman, let alone a 24 year old woman who looks 15.  I know that I'm going to have trouble establishing authority in a pastoral role and that is an issue I'm working on.

What do you think of when you think of clergy?  This morning, one of my professors let me know that there is a shirt for the UCC 20's and 30's clergy network that says, "This is what clergy looks like."  I need it.

This fact was illustrated yesterday evening when I was out to eat with a seminary classmate, discussing my sermon for chapel on Monday.  I saw a member of the church I am currently serving walk in.  She just had a hip replacement two weeks ago, so I knew that it was appropriate to go greet her and ask how she was feeling.

When she sat down with her husband and another couple they were with, I went over and approached the table.  I said, "Hello!  It's so good to see you walking around.  How did the surgery go?"  She introduced me to her husband and the couple that was with her and told me a bit about her recovery.  We talked for 2-3 minutes and I said that I was looking forward to seeing her in church again.

At which point, her husband looked at me and said, "So, are you going to take our order?"

Sigh... this is what clergy looks like.

1 comment:

  1. I used to have some preconceived ideas of what clergy looked like. Then my little brother became a Lutheran minister. While it still makes me giggle to think of my kid brother as someone's spiritual advisor... it did make me broaden my view of who could serve in that role. Honestly, he probably has it easier being a man -- and now he's not quite so wet around the ears. However, I think he just gradually won people over as he visited and talked to them. His first congregation just loved him and spoke very highly of him. So... really, think you just talk to people over time and the authority comes with the message you share and the compassion you offer. Just my humble opinion. :) -- Martina


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