Friday, August 01, 2008

Discernment (or what will it take? Green goo oozing from the walls?)

Whenever I have watched haunted house movies (which isn't very often. because, well, because they're scary and I don't like scary.) I always look at the people in the movies with complete disgust. I mean seriously. If the flies covering my walls wouldn't get me out of there the voice yelling, "Get OUT!" would. I can attest to this because the last house we lived in was haunted and as soon as Jellybean started having conversations with imaginary people who had no feet and she would yell at them, "Don't touch me your hands are so cold!" Guess what we did? That's right. We moved out.

Now every now and again there comes a time in Chowder's ministry that is a crossroads of sorts and we have to decide whether it is time for us to move on or whether we should recommit ourselves to the place that we are. Chowder's original position when we came was to help the church decide whether it was time to close or whether they could reinvent themselves and let the Holy Spirit drive them in a new direction. The chose the second option, but not with their hearts.

I wrote about the last time we recommitted ourselves to this place about 18 mos ago. The time before that, we bought a house across the street from the church. The day after the sale went through we received a notice from the city that our property taxes had tripled. The next time, as I wrote, we had our van window broken out and Chowder's iPod stolen just 20 minutes after he had come home from the gym. How could we have expected that someone would break out a window that quickly when it was 7:30 in the morning and there is a near constant stream of traffic down my little one way street while everyone is leaving for work?!

This time Chowder and I sat down and talked it over. The church is running out of money and the 150 yr old building is in desperate need of major repairs. The congregation is not able (or perhaps willing) to do the work necessary for a redevelopment and Chowder is bored and unsatisfied with his ministry. So, after much discussion we decided that he would right a letter to his church council before the next council meeting about approaching the neighboring church (same denomination) that is just on the other side of the park about merging our congregation with theirs. He would stay on for a year to help with the transition and then move on. The whole process would probably take 2-3 years in which time he would be able to complete his Doctorate.

This would also give the school (the one my kids go to) time to find a permanent location and possibly time for Skaterboy to graduate from high school (But Kids, that's a whole other sad and sorry tale). Plus, since this congregation isn't demanding much of Chowder's time and they are paying us a livable wage, it is the perfect place to be while raising a young family and doing his doctoral work. And even more than that, he will be much more desirable as a candidate to other congregations if he doesn't leave here as a pastor of a failed church (no matter HOW little fault that is of his) but that he completed his job to merge the congregations and on top of that he then has his doctorate.

It's a good plan. a sound plan. a plan that gives us flexibility as a family, as well as leads his congregation to healthier place.

So, what would you think if you woke up and the car that Chowder's parents had been lending us, until Skaterboy got his license, so we wouldn't have to drive the gas guzzling Behemoth if we weren't taking the whole brood somewhere...
was stolen.
from the church parking lot.
with Chowder's bible and bible commentary on the front seat.
and his robe.
and the materials for the Regional Disaster Relief conference (he's on the regional committee) he had been attending on the back seat?

What would you think? Is this the green goo?

at least the car had no gas in it. and I mean no gas.


PastorMac's Ann said...

I would say, "wow!" I would say, "Here you go again." I would say, "Perhaps you are doing exactly what God wants you to do because Satan is so hellbent on making it so hard on you." I would say, "That is SUCH A BUMMER!"

Praying for you all, my friend.

Jenny said...

I would also say that because you are in the place God wants you to be, that the devil certainly wants you to be unhappy and dissatisfied.

Oh, these things are never easy, are they!

KellyLynn said...

Well i have to say that just sucks. And i am sure all the "why me's" have been said. I had my car stolen from high school one day when i was 17. I cried for hours! I hope they find it soon, and without TOO much damage, and i hope they find the creeps who took it.

Oh and when its time for you an chowder to move on, i am selfishly putting in my vote for: BUFFALO!! just remember its the snow that chowder wants! We get 4 seasons, its wonderful, oh and i am here :)

Anonymous said...

i'm so sorry this happened. i love how pastormac's ann worded her response. i have no idea how to go about making a decision to leave or stay. i just think it stinks that this happened to you.

Melanie said...

No, I don't think it's the green goo, but perhaps just another reason why your plan should be put into effect.

julie said...

No, I don't think it is the green goo either. I'm going with the Satan theory.

annie said...

wow, I actually cried when I read that. How terribly frustrating and infuriating.
Prayers for you and your family.

valerie said...

wow, so sorry. It does sound like a good plan, though. And this part "it is the perfect place to be while raising a young family" really matters. I hope things work out - that the congregation sees it your way.

Thinking and praying for you.