31 May 2008

Here Comes the Bride

Golly, has it been a week again? Sorry about that. May turns out to be the warm December, with lots of events and celebrations even as work itself continues to move right along. At least the weather is easier to take.

First, let me give a shout out to Johnny P, from my old haunting grounds in Brooklyn. He tossed another C note in tree fund. You go guy, and the rest of you folks can feel free to join him anytime.

It is Saturday aftternoon, and I am in my church office preparing to perform a wedding. Which ceremony seems more and more peculiar to me. What I mean is to ask why we do this, meaning religious organizations. I know the reasons, but are they real reasons or rationalizations. Somewhere recently I read how reasoning is when thoughts lead to a conclusion or action and rationalization is thoughts that justify a prior conclusion or action. How many of our principles and values are actually rationalizations?

Anyway, I do few weddings now. Early in clergy life there was nothing more fun than weddings as it's fancy dress time, you get to sign something official and all, and you generally get a little extra money. The bloom is off that rose for me, though. Only those who are part of my congregation and its extended family get my services. That’s because outsiders more and more think of the church and the clergy as vendors – and often the least important, coming well after the food, the clothes, the flowers and other things. They often treat the church and the clergyperson as someone to bargain with.

When I started to make enough money inn general I gave up asking for a fee because that took the fee for service element out of the equation, at least for me. It's now about the ministry not the money. When I do it, it is for the blessing I can give not the cash I get. They don’t choose me, I choose them.

I feel a lot better now.

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