In Total Contrast to TEC, a Presbyterian Story of a genuinely gracious Parting

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A simple analogy helped us overcome this hurdle. “Imagine that you are the pastor of a church, and you’ve been sharing ministry with your congregation for many years,” we explained. “Over those years you have grown to know and love the people, and they have grown to know and love you—even though there have been some serious conflicts along the way. But now it has become apparent to you that your vision for ministry is becoming very different from the congregation’s. They feel passionately called by God to move in one direction. You feel passionately called in another. Your values, perhaps even your core theological beliefs, are in conflict. What can you do?” This, of course, is a situation that most pastors and elders can readily relate to.

Continuing, we said, “On the one hand, you can stay and try to persuade the congregation to go the direction you believe God wants them to go, while at the same time they try to persuade you to go in their direction. There may be multiple votes about specific programs, and endless politicking. Meanwhile, not much of any ministry gets done. On the other hand, you can passively submit to the congregation’s vision for ministry. It keeps the peace, but inside you are miserable because you are living in conflict with your own core values. Passion wanes.”

Then, stating the obvious, we offered: “But there is a third alternative. Even though you love the congregation and the congregation loves you, there may come a time when God calls you to use your gifts in another part of Christ’s body. Parting may be painful, but if you and the church have a healthy relationship, you can acknowledge your differing calls and bless each other as you separate to pursue your God-given visions.” We explained that we loved the people of our presbytery, but we felt great passion and excitement as we believed God was calling us to pursue a new path in our journey with Christ.

Read it all.

Filed under:

1 Comments
Posted January 12, 2013 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Interesting. I noticed that one thing listed was “transparency”. Nope. Won’t work with TEC as they can not be trusted to do what they say they will do. TEC has had many agreements with other Anglicans and then violated them all by going on to do what they wanted anyway. I am glad it has worked for this congregation but alas it won’t work where the denomination (TEC) is hell bent on suing people for the property.

January 19, 12:37 am | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): (Archbishop Cranmer Blog) The C of E must soar above the squabbles

Previous entry (below): The first question on the 2013 General Ordination Examination

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)