More than a week ago, the same night Sunny went to the ER, we had planned to have dinner with Pastor J and E at C and T’s house. When we got there, T said that Pastor J had called to say that something emotional had happened and she had to cancel. We were all clueless as to what could have happened and were worried. Sometime in the wee hours after Sunny and I got home, I just texted her and xo and a heart to let her know I was thinking of her. She texted back, “My heart is breaking like yours has in the past.” All I could think was that something must have happened to one of her adult children. I asked if I should go to her, she responded, “No, I have decided to leave the ministry and that breaks my heart and you can’t tell anyone. I am really sad but know God has a plan.” I was shocked…I couldn’t express how shocked. I can only imagine what a heart breaking decision that would be. And of course, I was so sad for myself. She’s been an important part of my spiritual growth and healing and of course she is one of the very few people who were there when my twins were born. Frankly, I don’t want to start over with a new spiritual leader. No one else will ever understand what I’ve been through or where I’m coming from.
When I spoke to her the following Friday, she was very tearful and upset which made me tearful and upset. We rent our church space to another church on Sunday afternoons. The two congregations get along well and the pastors have compatible philosophies. Many members attend services interchangeably and both congregations have worked with each other on mission projects. So far, this is all ok with our church district or whatever. Over the summer, it was agreed that we would merge services and worship with the other church, each pastor preaching when their schedule allowed and as they agreed. Apparently, our bishop is a controlling jack ass. When he found out this was happening, he ordered Pastor J to stop immediately. The other preacher is not allowed to preach to us. This bishop won’t even speak to her about the matter. They were communicating through some district leader and finally the bishop said not to call or email him because he was going on “renewal leave” for two months.
Pastor J feels strongly that this is not how the Holy Spirit is leading her. Our religion, as far as I know, has always had a policy of inclusion and helping the church to grow by welcoming strangers. I don’t understand…we have other guest speakers all the time, including lay people so how is this any different? She’s run into problems with this bishop before and feels she cannot come back from “these craters” too many more times.
I’m just sick about it but don’t have much time to dwell on it and I don’t think there’s much I could do about it anyway. I absolutely cannot imagine my religious life without her. During our talk, she said we could be friends and she wouldn’t have to be my minister. That is all well and good but I don’t need any more friends, I need a spiritual advisor who is open minded and who has seen me struggle through lack of Faith, one who talked to God for me when I couldn’t speak to Him myself. One who loves me so beautifully. I just can’t believe I might be without her in my church life.