Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ministers' Weekend

Ministers' conventions don't sound like Disneyland, exactly, but there's something about them that's utterly refreshing. Well, I can't speak for all of them, exactly, but the BMA ministers' weekend qualifies.

I felt very ministered to, maybe that was it. A lot of people told me they've been reading my blog, which somehow didn't freak me out as badly as before. A number of women impulsively put their arms around me and prayed for wisdom with decisions regarding Emily, and for peace for my mom-heart, and that was a balm in Gilead.

We should all be both shepherds and sheep. I don't think of myself as much of a taker-care-of-er of church people, but realized from how people ministered to me that I seldom if ever ask or expect anyone to take care of me. Anyway, we all have gifts with which to take care of others. we all have gaps and needs where we need others to take care of us. Let's do that.

From the speakers I learned practical ways to encourage the congregation to reach out to unchurched neighbors, and from an ex-Amish speaker I learned and affirmed some of the complicated dynamics of German-culture responses to life. We affirm "doers," he said, which is why you get the Mennonites to organize a benefit auction or go rebuild after a flood. But we also grow up learning that if you want praise from your parents, you work harder and get more done. And he didn't say this, but I know it: woe if you're a dreamy, distracted, scholarly sort. And he said in that mysterious, roundabout way that counselor-types say things, that this mindset leads to moral issues at times, and we as church leaders we need to get to the root of things. You know, counselor types are fine people, but sometimes I want to say, Just say it already.

And of course I heard speakers that I would love to go home and describe in vivid detail at the supper table, and really I try to be charitable about this being a minister's wife and all but oh my, people just have such fascinating quirks.

[Note: if you hear me speak, you all have permission to go home and imitate me at the supper table.]

The ladies' tea was all that a ladies' tea should be, with amazing decorations in pink and black, and efficient servers, and heart-shaped cookies, and very pleasant company.

And now I'm in Philadelphia, headed for Florida/Georgia, but our plane is delayed, and as Ben would say we're shooting 2 for 2, so maybe this will happen every time we head to Florida.

We stayed with our friends Leonard and Sharon, who lost a daughter last August. It is astonishing to me how warm and empathetic people who have undergone a great tragedy are to those of us who are enduring much less.

Quote of the Day:
"We have to be careful or we'll get mentioned on her blog!"
--a lady at my table at the tea. I think it was the one with that cool scarf tied artfully around her neck, one of the Fashionable and Cool Ministers' Wives


  1. AAACK!!!!!! you were in Philly PA. and didn't even come to Lancaster! You should have done a book signing or something so we could all come out and look at you!

  2. Counselor types as speakers often leave me with the conclusion; What was the point he was trying to say? Or they take so long to get to the point. One of whom you and I have both listened too even admits to "going down a rabbit trail" when and as he is speaking.
    That's why they are counselors instead of public speakers. Grin..

  3. I love your post and your way of describing events and people - "people have such fascinating quirks" is especially good. I almost instinctively analyze the foibles and quirks of human nature. Maybe it's good that I can't write descriptively to portray what I'm seeing!
    Mary Horst

  4. Oh! The Lord be praised! A minister's wife is allowed to be cool?!! This is definitely a good thing and worthy of praise.