Busy-ness

Folks have decided that because the vicar is on sabbatical I must be terribly busy.  To be fair, I am no more busy than I was before, in fact I have saved some time by not driving to meet up with him to pray together.  It interests me how folks project their ideas of busyness on to the ‘vicar’. I don’t think that I am giving out messages of being too busy, although I’ll admit I am tired (I have preached every Sunday this year so far and there has been a lot more school work).  However, I am beginning to worry that my phone is not ringing so often as it once did and I am no longer hearing that people are in hospital.  Worse still, I missed that someone was dying last week.  ‘We didn’t want to bother you because you must be so busy with the viacr away’.  Today, I realised that the parish administrator was being rung up more, at all hours and at home mostly with trivia and she feels she has to deal with it straight away.  The retired clergy are telling me that they have done a funeral here and there to save me because I must be so busy. I am grateful to them but I would rather not be by-passed.

So….how do I deal with this projected busy-ness and how folks feel that they shouldn’t bother me anymore?

YES, I am busy but if I were a busy coffee shop proprietor folks would not queue for ages to get a coffee and on reaching the counter say, ‘OH, you seem terribly busy, so I am not going to bother you to make me a coffee’ would they?

or is this really about my need to be in control and know what is going on?  Perhaps I should just enjoy how folks feel they should be protecting me right now.

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One Response to Busy-ness

  1. Penny Nash says:

    Hello – just found your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts.

    I was in a situation where for several months I was the only (and fairly new) priest at my parish (the rector having unfortunately left very suddenly) and I received the same treatment. People “did not want to bother me” with the very things I was there to do. I, too, wondered if I should simply go with it or if I should speak up and decided I needed to speak up and not let others determine whether I ought to know about the pastoral needs of my parishioners and not let others determine how I spend my time. I explained to staff and key folks in the parish that I needed to know what was going on with those who were ill or in hospital or otherwise troubled and that I was always available to give someone a phone call or go to the hospital. I think it would disturb me a great deal to learn that others were doing funerals without my knowing it.

    Being the only priest certainly is demanding (if for no other reason than preaching every week) but if you are not overwhelmed then saying so to those who are trying to protect you (which is sometimes a round about way of undermining you) is appropriate. Such a message, of course, is always delivered in love and is about love: you love your parishioners and took vows to be their priest.

    Best of luck and blessings on your ministry!
    Penny

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