Tuesday, July 29, 2008

odds and ends of Tuesday reflections

What every parish needs, is an IT guy known to his friends (including the Rector) as "Mad Dog"...I'm just sayin'. It adds such cachet to the Rector's Report. "And on the following week, Mad Dog Jenkins came by and adjusted all the security monitors on the doors..."

What is it with people, that they figger they are entitled to tell the preacher what to say at a funeral?
Either what to say about the deceased: "Bob is going to talk about his business, and Earl is going to talk about his golf, so we'd like you to explain how important he was to the church..."
Or, "We'd like to keep this really a celebration of life, so we don't want you to talk about death, it's so gloomy and morbid. And please don't say too much about God..."
Or -- and this is the one that really gets me (and it's happened more than once):"Grandma and I have always been people of faith but nobody else in the family is, especially not my father/mother/brother/husband, so I'm sure Grandma would be very pleased if at her funeral you could really emphasize how important this is." (Variant: "and in your sermon we'd like you to point out how essential it is for everyone to have a Personal Relationship with Jesus")

What do they think I'll say? "Either straighten up and fly right and start going to church and tithing OR YOU'LL NEVER SEE YOUR GRANDMA AGAIN"????

Crass, crass, crass, crass.

Days like this, I'm tempted to get Mad Dog to wire the pews...


Annie's Mom said...


Terri said...

yeah. I haven't had those examples but I get plenty of other "suggestions" about what we should do or not...I too have an IT guy only I think he is more like a humble lizard - fast, efficient, and totally behind the scenes...hope tomorrow is better! Or as someone I used to know would say, "Have a better day!" (he was a chiropractor and would say that after a treatment...)

Jane Ellen+ said...

The standard joke around here is that our IT guy is sleeping with the vicar. Really helps with the parish budget... ;-)

Erin said...

lol - I've had this problem more often with weddings but am amused sometimes by the instructions I get. My very first memorial service I was asked to bring grace and dignity to the occasion while keeping it religious neutral.

spookyrach said...

never see grandma again!


johnieb said...

I think it would be prudent to have Mad Dog include a non-lethal setting, don't you?

Sue said...

Yup, I would be happy to set Mad Dog onto the ones who don't want you to say too much about God.

Uh, if God's getting in the way, why not go to the Legion for this little fete, huh??? (No, I've never said it, but sure have wanted to at times!)

Hope tomorrow's better.

Mavis said...

Thanks for your visit. Enjoyed your blog. Having relatively recently been part of a 'bereaved family' I cringe at how bossy we were with the minister. Your post has hit all my buttons! I started a 'comment' but when it got close to 400 words I figured maybe it was a post and have put it over at my place.
Thanks for triggering some stuff I am obviously still processing. I'm sorry grief makes it so hard for you clergy to do your job!

Julie said...

My father-in-law's funeral actually included an altar call...and the small country chapel was full of only family!