Sinking the Bismarck, 2011

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Leeny 6 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #46405

    Leeny
    Participant

    Well, I had my meeting with Quinn on Tuesday, and it didn’t exactly go well. We never did discuss the letter I gave him. When I asked for his response to the things I’d written, he responded with his own question: What was my goal for the meeting? As my goal was to help me decide whether or not to leave the church, and I really wasn’t ready to go there yet, I said I’d rather not say at that time. He then asked me what I was feeling. I told him that, when I wrote the letter, I was angry. After a pause, I asked him if I could be blunt. He nodded. And it went downhill from there.

    I ended up telling the man, very directly, every negative thing I thought about him and his ministry thus far. I didn’t use any abusive language and I tried to phrase things in terms of “my perceptions” and “as far as I know,” but it still wasn’t pretty. He remained calm and took notes throughout the meeting. I kept my composure until he responded to my telling him that I had told two people (one of whom was in the meeting), in frustration at not being able to get to see HIM and tell HIM about it, that I considered him a hyper-administrator who puts on a good show on Sundays. He said that my feeling that way was all right, but that talking about him behind his back was unacceptable and it couldn’t happen again. Doing that sort of thing is very much against my own values and I was already ashamed of it, so I started to cry, which I did off and on for the rest of the meeting. It ended with Quinn telling me that nothing had changed between us because of what I’d said, and he shook my hand before I left.

    So, what he said notwithstanding, I feel that I’ve torpedoed any possibility, however slim it might have been, of building some kind of friendly relationship with him. I sent him a conciliatory/explanatory e-mail yesterday; no response as of yet. I don’t blame him.

    I feel like staying away from church–any church–for a while.

    #677040

    CheetahBoysmommy
    Participant

    Going to church should be about worship and about living a better life through your religion. If going to your church makes you feel awful, it’s the wrong church. If you believe that there is only one God, then all the houses of worship are ultimately pointed the same direction, find one that matches your personality.

    I think I said it before, worship is like food, we all need it. But we don’t all need just Chinese, or just Italian or just southern down home cooking. Some of us can’t stomach hot peppers, some of us don’t like curry, some of us don’t eat grits, etc. And none of us should have to put up with a restaurant that tells us we are doing wrong if we find another restaurant with better service and more-enjoyable food.

    #677041

    Good analogy, CBM.

    Leeny I feel for you. I know how important a safe and joyful house of worship is for you. I was raised Catholic and love the Catholic Church. I’ve gone to Methodist Sunday School and taught Sunday School at a Lutheran Church. I admire the Mormon’s (though I don’t believe all their doctrine). I LOVE Judaism and am drawn to it (the kid who wanted to be a NUN – seriously).

    Right now I consider myself spiritual. I get to pray when I come here. You are all my “church community.” Someone presents a need, doesn’t matter if it’s for animal or human, and asks for prayers and I PRAY for that need. I pray for all of you every day.

    I will occassionally pull out my Bible. I went to Mass with my brother recently. First time since all the funerals.

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I agree with CBM, and others who have suggested perhaps a different place will be a better fit for you. When you are ready try a different one each week! I don’t think God cares what building we go into. What matters is our relationship with Him and how we treat our fellow travelers on this plane. Yes, He commands we worship him and give Him our time, but there are lots of ways that can be accomplished.

    I wish you peace and I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

    #677042

    KYKAT 12 23
    Participant

    Prayers for you Leeny!

    #677043

    Jeankit
    Participant

    Agree with CBM…keep on exploring your options until you feel comfortable or at home with your worship family. What is that saying…In My house there are many mansions…

    #677044

    ailuromaniac
    Participant

    Just to put in an oar on this subject.

    You need to examine why are you so determined you want to stay.

    If it is “I like the pretty stained glass windows”, there are other pretty windows.

    If it is “I feel like I am abandoning this or that friend”, leaving this particular congregational membership for membership elsewhere does not preclude visiting occasionally.

    God has a very big house…it is called the universe. Find a nice room where you are not feeling stifled.

    P.S. remember the “Sinking of the Bismark” (meaning the ship itself) was historically a good thing.

    #677045

    Leeny
    Participant

    Thank you, everyone, for your input and support.

    Ail, my determination to stay probably boils down to, “I’ve been here for 21 years and he’s only been here for 1 year, and I’m not going to let him run me off because I was here first!” Pure stubbornness, which is part of my personality. After that long, too, I feel very attached to the church.

    Things change, though, and it had occurred to me that maybe this has become a poor match. During the meeting, Quinn mentioned–just mentioned as an observation–that I had received more pastoral care from him during the past year than anyone else in the church. (I can remember 4 instances involving myself, including this meeting, and 2 involving Mr. L.) I’ve realized for years that I seem to need more pastoral care than most people–I have no family, no close friends, and a couple of affective disorders–but never before have I felt that this need makes me a bad person. Now, I do; my response to Quinn was that I’d never call him again. My reaction was run through two filters. One was the church doctor’s book, in which church members are ridiculed for wanting pastoral care, a desire to receive a hospital visit from one’s pastor after LUNG SURGERY is presented as unreasonable, and congregation members are portrayed as burdens that interfere with the pastor’s real job of converting unbelievers. The other is my abused childhood, in which I heard constantly from my mother that I was “spoiled, selfish, and inconsiderate” and from my father that I was a “miserable kid” just because I EXISTED and had the needs that all children have.

    It’s becoming evident that, for all his warmth and enthusiasm displayed while leading worship services, Quinn’s strength is administration. He doesn’t seem to deal well with one-on-one interactions. That may just be the way he is, but I’m also the way I am. Maybe it is counterproductive trying to fit together pieces that just don’t mesh.

    What did the song say? “There ain’t no good guy. There ain’t no bad guy. There’s only you and me, and we just disagree”?

    #677046

    ailuromaniac
    Participant

    Definitions of a Pastor

    1.a minister or priest in charge of a church.

    2.a person having spiritual care of a number of persons.

    If the laity is just to be the support and not be supported, what is the difference between the squeezing of tithes and the government’s taxes?

    Christ said “feed my lambs” not “fleece my sheep”. If he wants to proselytize he needs to get down from the pulpit and go out among the wolves and be a beacon of light not sit on his ass trying to lure in more assets to fill the coffers.

    If your council is following this hokum, this building may as well be a warehouse. At least then it would be fulfilling its function instead of foisting a sham on its members and the public.

    #677047

    CheetahBoysmommy
    Participant

    I may be wrong, but I always felt it was a pastor’s job to minister to his congregation and bring the peace and love of God to those people. If he wants to convert ‘unbelievers’, maybe he should go where those unbelievers are rather than in a nice safe job where one assumes most of the flock has already seen the light.

    #677048

    Anonymous

    That “church doctor” sounds like a very unChristian person. A pastor is not an administrator.

    Leeny, I think you would be happier in another church, since it doesn’t seem like this one is going to change for the better any time soon.

    #677049

    Leeny
    Participant

    You want to see what the church doctor and his agenda are about? Here it is:

    http://www.churchdoctor.org/

    And here’s the book that imparted his view to our congregation, only our trip was in print, not online:

    http://www.churchdoctor.org/teaching/discover-your-windows-an-online-journey

    All multiple-choice questions, by the way, come from tests, not surveys. There are right and wrong answers to each question, with the right answer determined by its adherence to the church doctor’s agenda and idiosyncratic interpretation of the Bible.

    One of the central tenets of this agenda is that it is the pastor’s job to teach church leaders who share the agenda to train congregation members to go where the unbelievers are while he conducts meetings and workshops designed to promote the process. In other words, we’re the ones who are supposed to get off our a***s and go out among the wolves, while taking care of each other’s needs in the bargain.

    It remains to be seen how many of his suggestions the council really plans to implement. They’re supposed to have a plan together by Aug. 1, but when that’s going to be passed on to the congregation is anyone’s guess.

    #677050

    paulajeanne
    Participant

    Leeny, I am absolutely flambergasted at this churchdoctor! Run, don’t walk, away from this place!

    #677051

    ailuromaniac
    Participant

    A body cannot function with only one organ.

    A church with only proselytizers and no healers, no teachers, no comforters, …etc. cannot function either.

    It takes all and it takes balance. This “Church Doctor” is a cultist philosophy. Look at how they react to disagreement. Their representative, Quinn, ignores you, he isolates you, he sets you up for shunning, he shames you in front of others… Sounds like an abusive spouse does it not?

    Since you don’t have the power (MONEY)to show him the door, leave and do not leave quietly.

    #677052

    Kiplings_cat
    Participant

    Well, probably because I grew up with people of different faiths, and was raised as a member of a non-proselytizing faith, I have absolutely no desire to go around converting anybody else. And I don’t like people trying to convert me. Since I work with people of other (or no) religion, it would not be practical or effective for me to put Jesus into a discussion of business practices. However, my husband thinks that being a religious missionary and bringing unbelievers the Word of God is a good thing. We will have to leave it up to God as to which if any of us is right.

    So I guess it comes down to- what do YOU believe? The pastor is not your significant other. He is not going to change his mind or his ways because you are angry with him. It may be that the rest of the congregation will reject his vision/interpretation, as you have. But if they do not, then it seems that you need to find a church which shares your interpretation.

    Over the centuries, there has been a lot of dispute over interpretation of holy writings. People have (and still are) using these differences as an excuse to kill each other. Nothing new about idiosyncratic interpretations.

    #677053

    Renee in Arkansas
    Participant

    I was raised in a small church and the church was the house of God. We where taught that when people came to church ,it was to meet and worship God.I remember a character from a movie tell a priest that he had been to a lot of big churches where people stood and with a loud voice told God how important they were and why they deserved the things they had ,then he said that he preferred the smaller churches where people on thier knees quietly asked god for forgiveness and to be led in God’s way.

    Over the years ,I have seen preachers that where led to God as a way of life and they would work and study all week on a sermon that they felt God had willed for them to give to the church . They where on call 24 hours of the day to assit in any way that the members might need ,for pray ,for guidance,to set with the sick and such as that. Now I see many that go to collage to learn how to control the church, to impose thier vision of the right way to serve God and thier sermons are from a book that they had bought or downloaded off the internet. The televangalist are contantly telling every one to send money to them so that they can expand thier programing .

    I am unsure what to advise you to do other than pray to God for the help you need

    #677054

    Renee in Arkansas
    Participant

    I remember a story that might be worth telling.

    A preacher died and went to heaven. He was in line behind a cab driver. As he waited for his chance to meet God he over heard God tell the cab driver how impresed he was with all the people that the driver had led to God and God then gave the driver the best of everything that heaven had to offer. When the preacher meet God ,God had very little to say or offer to the preacher. The preacher asked God why the driver had been so richly rewarded and God told him why. God said that when the preacher preached ,people slept but when the driver drove people prayed

    #677055

    paulajeanne
    Participant

    Lol, Ron, I snorted, when the last line sunk in!

    #677056

    krazikat
    Participant

    Ron, that is hilarious!!!

    #677057

    Anonymous

    That must have been a New York City cabbie!

    #677058

    SoxsMom
    Participant

    There are many religions in this world. You have to search your heart to find what you believe, where your faith leads you. I know you did not look forward to Quinn’s arrival from the very beginning. You have not been happy with his pastoral care (certainly he seems lacking from what you have said), and you feel that the ministry he is bringing into the church is destructive. I understand 21 years is a long relationship with a church and I understand not wanting to leave. There is nothing saying you can’t go to another chuch this Sunday. Take time away from your church and visit a few other local churches. You may find that what you need is right there.

    #677059

    Leeny
    Participant

    Adult Sunday school has been replaced by a series of 8-week short courses, the summer session of which will end on August 13. There are 7 courses offered on various days and at various times throughout the week; some focus on history, others on particular personal issues, others on social interaction, others on prayer and Bible study. Mr. L. is enrolled in one course and I am in another. By the time that this course session has ended, I expect that I will know what to do.

    There is an automatic deal breaker, though. The church doctor’s top recommendation for our church was for us to engage in an 18-month “spiritual pilgrimage” with his organization, in which we would study more of his materials and Quinn would consult with him on a monthly basis. If I find out that this is going to happen, I’m gone, regardless of whether or not the summer short courses are over.

    #677060

    SoxsMom
    Participant

    Leeny are you the only one in the church that has a problem with this church doctor? I can’t believe there aren’t others that probably feel as you do. Perhaps it is time for all of you to gather together and speak out. Not independently, but together with a combined voice.

    #677061

    Leeny
    Participant

    Heck, no, SM! There are PLENTY of people who have a problem with it. Quinn and council are aware that there are plenty of people who feel that way, but I think it’s been just from individual communications and things they’ve heard from the leaders of the groups that studied the book (I dropped out of my group after the second meeting). There hasn’t been any organized protest, and I’m sure I would have been aware of it if there had been.

    In the meeting this week, the outgoing president told me that council had several organizations from which to choose to have an outside evaluation done of the church and its functioning, and she said that Quinn did not try to promote the church doctor over the others. She said that the decision to choose the church doctor was made by council. Quinn also told me that he doesn’t subscribe to the church doctor’s philosophy; he’s a consultant with them because this guy mentored him at one time and put his name on the list. Quinn said he’s never done a consultation and never plans to do one. The way he acts, though, lines up so closely with his mentor’s approaches that I left the meeting feeling strange: it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, and it says it’s a moose. I decided just to watch to see if the church did in fact turn into a duck pond, but I’m not sure now that I want to wait that long and get soaked.

    #677062

    Anonymous

    Leeny, not to sidetrack your thread, but may I just compliment you on your use of language? “It says it’s a moose” made me laugh.

    #677063

    Leeny
    Participant

    In memory of Moose County from the late lamented “Cat Who” series, Kilroy.

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