Friday again...a robin is enjoying the sunshine in a tree out by the sidewalk, and telling the world.
It wasn't QUITE so cold this morning, and hasn't snowed today -- nor yesterday, in which we had enough sun to activate possible "weather lore" about the Feast of the Ascension as a predictor for the rest of the summer...I didn't realize it's in the same list as Groundhog (Lammas) Day and St. Swithun!
Two 'congregation' yesterday for the eucharist, a bit of a chat about the meaning of the Ascension one way and another, then a long, long pastoral conversation with one of the congregants contemplating a shift of membership...annoyed and fed up with clergy in her current parish.
The ethics and etiquette of "parish visiting"...the competing rationales for "the minister calls upon the sick, the shut-in, the elderly"...
Her priest doesn't visit. She has a nonagenarian father in the local veterans' hospital/residence...physically frail but cognitively present. A founding member of the parish (and then the note I dread hearing, "and after all the money he gave"...)...and the priest has not been to visit him.
The priest is heavily involved in a community-organization movement which is sound, practical, effective, strengthens community among those who take part and strengthens the communities they form within the larger political unit. (I know this, because he recruited me...but when I could not find an energy for this work within the parish I serve, I drew back...thinking this would have to be a lay-led endeavour or nothing at all, it couldn't be "another of the rector's Lead Balloons." I still don't know whether that was right or not.
Apparently there is little energy among my colleague's congregation for lay-organized pastoral visiting either...
And it may not matter very much once the expectation has crystallized in the form, "the minister/priest should visit more..."
I don't know how to be clear in my own mind about the standing, moral and theological, of that expectation.
What is the model that is really driving that demand? And what is the model behind the way it is answered?