Friday I only worked half a day because I had to go to Camp Sumatanga (Methodist Church Camp) for a weekend of Integrity Training. Ok, I hear you asking yourself...."what is that?" Well....our first session started promptly at 4. It was a video entitled, "Not My Church." Even though the movie was extremely dated (1980's) the point was still made. Pastors have power and I am not just talking about the Holy Spirit kind of power. I am talking about the power to make people things. This video could have been labeled..."Not My School, Not My Office Place, Not My __________." I could apply to a number of scenarios. We had supper and then did a session on Finances and Taking Care of Boundaries, Power, and Vulnerability. I know this was all about being a pastor, but sitting there I could apply every case scenario to my job as a school teacher. Friday night lasted until sometime after nine and we retired to our rooms for rest. I needed it believe me. Breakfast was at 7:30, but I am back on school sleeping time so I was up by 5. It was all good. I got to see the sun rise and it was gorgeous. On top of the hill facing my room is a chapel and cross that are breathtaking. The leaves are actually beginning to change a bit so there is some color in the mountains. I wish we had had time to walk up to the chapel, but we did not.
Today started out with a session on Taking Care of Legal Issues and one of them was what do you do if you have a registered sex offender in your congregation. It was kind of scary. Self-Care was next and after taking the little quiz I felt as if Frank and I were healthy. There were areas for improvement....but for the most part we were good. Internet and Social Media was the next topic. I was amazed at how many of the participants were not familiar with things like Facebook. One guy said he had never ever sent a text from a phone! In today's social society I found that so hard to believe. After lunch we hit Dating, Friendships, and Gifts. We had several single pastors with us who shared some horror stories about congregants who tried fixing them up with daughters, granddaughters, nieces, etc....We had another little check-list in this section on gifts. Some of us had been pounded, some given money during a Pastor Appreciation time, some nothing....but we had to check off if we had received any of these gifts, check again if it made us uncomfortable, and check a third time if we refused it. I had four single checks for mine. I don't think getting a five gallon bucket of cucumbers qualifies as something that made me uncomfortable and I definitely would not have refused it. Our last session....and the time was now 3:30 was Taking Care of the Pulpit, Transference, Touch. Several of the sessions were similar and even used the same scenarios for the little group discussions we had at our tables. I had a great table with Justin, Charlie, Martha, and Kalina. All in all it was a good day. I came home so tired...but feeling better equipped for my teaching AND preaching professions. Hope you had a great weekend.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.