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I don’t like my priest

I don’t like my priest

The Rev. Tim Schenck, on his blog Clergy Family Confidential, wonders about times when we don’t like our priest:

What happens when you don’t really like your parish priest? Does it matter? We certainly don’t “like” everyone we encounter in this life. Some people just rub us the wrong way. It may be something trivial like their voice or their wardrobe — superficial reasons to be sure but even such small things may mask deeper reasons. We throw labels around all the time when trying to explain what we don’t like about a

person: arrogant, glad-hander, bully, suck-up. Often these accusations reveal our own biases or previous life experiences. Granted, sometimes the other person is actually just a jerk.

What a lot of people do when they don’t like their priest, of course, is simply leave the congregation in search of another one. In a culture where “church shopping” is an accepted practice, why not just shop around until you find a priest you like? A place where the priest’s personality better suits your own; a church where you could see yourself going out for a beer with your pastor.

But is “liking” the clergy really the point?

Read the rest here

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“Her sermons leave me cold.”

In my lifelong practice of being an Episcopalian, I have heard MANY priests (occasionally deacons or laypeople) whose “sermons leave me cold”.

So I tune out, and feel none the worse for it.

I’m thankful to be an Anglo-Catholic. As long as a priest can stick to the BCP, I can be fed by them (literally, in the eucharist), regardless of their personality (or lack thereof). *

JC Fisher

* Unless you’re excommunicated by them. In which case: CONTACT THE BISHOP!!!

One of the problems is that too often, those drawn to ministry have an almost pathological need to be liked, which makes them shape-shifters, all things to all people, which means, ultimately, there is no there there. Clergy should never expect to have their needs met by their congregation. They should not be friends/drinking buddies with some, leaving others out of the inner circle. A healthy distance is, well, healthy, and allows a clergy person to minister to all with relative equality.

Jacquelyn O’Sullivan

John D. Andrews

Ellen, I did go to another church, but my mother, who’s 86, practically begged me to return. So I did. My church is declining in numbers to the point of being quite small and with very few people that are active. In addition, the priest is involved in pretty much every group that I could be involved in. Her sermons leave me cold. I originally left because I was not being challenged or fed. That has not gotten any better upon my return. Consequently, I bear it for my mother.

Ellen Lincourt

John, while I appreciate your “stick-to-it” attitude, perhaps you should either find other aspects of your church that are not dominated by your priest to participate in (groups, fellowships, missions, etc) that would make it less of a burden or go to another church. One should not hate going to church. I have learned to endure many priests that I thought were not a good fit for my beliefs, but immersing in myself in the work and fellowship of my fellow parishioners (eventually, priests move on or retire). But if you need to change churches to have a full relationship with God, then I encourage to change. The purpose is for you to grow in your relationship with God.

John Hollingsworth

One should go to church to find and worship God – not a priest who always agrees with your views

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