Planning Conversations

Tomorrow my husband and I go to his other vicarage church to say goodbye.  I’m fully expecting this to be a highly uncomfortable experience for me since I haven’t actually been to this church since my husband was installed as their vicar last August.  There were some legitimate reasons for my lack of participation with this church–it’s 45 minutes away from our full vicarage congregation and transportation didn’t work out when my husband was preaching consistently there during Lent (he would go straight to the church from his confirmation class that was 30 minutes away from our house).  My not-so-legitimate reason for not going to this church was the fact that I could barely handle the congregation I worshiped with weekly; adding another church to attend occasionally created more stress in the balance of the it’s-only-a-year relationships.

One of the coping mechanisms I’m supposed to use when anticipating a stressful social situation is to think about possible conversations before the event.  This way I’ll have some sort of reasonable explanation prepared and won’t wind up looking like a small animal about to get hit by a car.  After being accosted by a pastor’s wife a few weeks ago for never attending the Winkels, I’m expecting some member tomorrow to comment on my lack of attention to their church this year.  Consequently, this is how I’ve thought out my response to this possible inquiry:

actual convoIt’s a reasonable answer to the comment about my attendance:  It doesn’t go into all the details about how this year went for me but it’s truthful about one aspect of the problems.

However, I told my husband that if I had the courage to do so, I would make the conversation go like this:

imaginary convoThis answer would be the full truth–I didn’t come because I was struggling and I couldn’t cope with another congregation this year.  Of course, perhaps my goal shouldn’t be to make congregation members uncomfortable by declaring my insanity–even if they make me uncomfortable by making comments with no “good” responses.

 

 

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2 Comments on “Planning Conversations”

  1. To quote the hymn, “honesty is such a lonely word…”


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