Monday, June 8, 2009


So it would seem my recent post and comment back to a deputy has raised some eyebrows. Some of which was accurate (indeed, grammatically, addressing clergy as "Rev." is improper, but let's save that for another day). I responded to one poster that perhaps some source of my frustration lies in my bi-vocation. Being a chaplain where I punch a clock and a priest where I don't is TOUGH. Some days I love not knowing what will roll through the hospital doors, but other days I wish for the creative outlet of the parish priest role.

I'm taking a fascinating class in Church Administration at the moment. We are busy talking not just about how to administrate the business of the church, but we are busy grounding it in theology. A church is more than just a business. Last week, we discussed whether God is co-dependent and whether a church-pastor relationship can accurately be described as a metaphor. I had a lot of fun arguing back that the marriage metaphor is inherently problematic as it essentially puts us as pastors, the church (bride of Christ), and God in a three-way. Bad imagery! Bad! Time to re-envision the pastor-parish relationship, no?

At any rate, I do wonder if my frustration and sense of alienation stems from that bi-vocation. I am not fully in one world or another. I am not fully heard in either location. I don't have time to do grant-funded research projects at the hospital. Nor do I have time to attend every church meeting, where you make the connections you need to have to have the sort of voice I want.

As our church changes, I imagine bi-vocational clergy will be on the rise. It'll be hard, but we need to find ways to incorporate the voices that are not heard. We are not hearing enough of the voices of the bi-voc, nor the voices of the young clergy. So many of us just haven't gotten the right connections. What could we be doing?

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