Home
Loading
  Contact Us    
I Get to Go to Church

From the pew, not the pulpit.

by Everett Wilson
March 16, 2009

Bookmark and Share
I Get to Go to Church

In ten weeks of retirement I have discovered that I am not defined by my vocation after all. It turns out that I never was. I sometimes thought I was, because parish ministry is so demanding that I felt a tiny guilt whenever I did anything unconnected with it.

Let me clarify that. Feeling guilt about something is not the same as being controlled by it. I always did lots of other things, spending many golden hours pleasing myself -- watching television, writing for publication, teaching night school, and just plain loafing. These were escapes from church, but not from guilt. I could escape guilt entirely only when I was too miserably sick either to work or play.

My new freedom is expressed in six little words: I get to go to church. In retirement I still preach when I am asked to, and I love doing it, but it is no longer expected of me as a regular thing. Yet going to church is still the high point of my week, indicating to me that my faith, not my job, defines me.

I get to go to church. An appreciative worshipper used to tell me how he would wake up on Sunday morning with the happy thought, "I get to go church today." Now I can say it too. I don't have to go to church. I get to go to church. Worship is not a duty and ordeal, but a high privilege—the opportunity to come to God and confront honestly the most significant issues in his world.

For the first time since seminary graduation, I am not the pastor of the church I attend. Instead, like the other worshippers, I have a pastor. I follow her leadership, accept her care, and learn from her preaching and teaching. In our common profession as ordained ministers, she and I are colleagues; but in the local church she is my pastor.

So now I get to do what I expected others to do throughout my career, and am learning that it is just as good as I thought it would be .

Comments (4)


Post a Comment

ELM from USA writes:
March 16, 2009
I too love retirement and the freedom it allows!

Having been nearly preached to death all through my childhood, teens and early adulthood by ministers, I realized I got my fill. By then, knew what preachers know and more than ridged religion offered. I watched believers pack about the Black Book like a badge, I thought to myself -- don't they know what it says by now and when on God's Green Earth do they get done reading it?

Raised in hard-core dancing/speaking in tongues/pulpit thumping Pentecostal churches along with Assembly of God, I seen it all. In fact, one of your column writers here known as Awesome Rev, I watched grow from a young thing to a grownup preacher. For me and my house, the indoctrination plan of salvation didn't wash well, gel or stick. Thus, don't sit in any pew for my life does not depend on sitting in a pew, getting preached to
and don't look to organized religion to fix me or save me. I'm Okay! Had I clung to indocrination as a crutch, I wouldn't have been as okay today! Finder no longer have a need to seek; I am the finder of my life.

"To each his own." Those who swallowed the jeweled crown in outer space fantasy, more power to them. The magic of believing has a powerfull energy and affect all of it's very own. Putting dung on a wart with a focused strong belief it will heal it, can make it so. Mind over Matter!

Everett Wilson from The Partial Observer writes:
March 17, 2009
It's not about being okay, but about forgiving and being forgiven. I heard one Presbyterian minister put it this way: I'm not okay, you're not okay--and that's okay!



Rev. Mr. Moo writes:
March 22, 2009
Ev, thank you. so many times we are or believe that we are what we do. our self worth is wrapped up in our occupation. it is a joy to attend and be able to worship without being the one up front. i get that once or twice a year. you my friend are experiencing what many in the profession long to experience. if you ever get to the point of missing the "being up front", our pulpit is always open to you.

Everett Wilson from tpo writes:
March 26, 2009
I have been trying to reach Rev. Mr. Moo's email box, but it isn't going through. So what I wanted to say to him, I say to all: it would be an honor to preach in his pulpit.

Everett Wilson

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*


Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Location:


Comments:*
Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.



Verification:
Please type the letters you see above.

  Printer-Friendly

Bookmark and Share


PO BOOKS BY EVERETT WILSON
Real Things
A novel.
Published January 2, 2008
Temporarily Unavailable

Real Things first appeared in serialized form on the Partial Observer in 2001. It is now available in print for the first time.

Over thirty years after a senseless crash redefined his life, Greg Thompson and his family finally learn why.

More Information
RSS FEED
RSS Feed for Everett Wilson: RSS Feed for Everett Wilson
EMAIL ALERTS
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Everett Wilson
Necessary Things, A Companion and Sequel to Real Things
Available from Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, and Me!
by Everett Wilson, 2/16/15
Until Barrett is Free, Neither Are We
Freedom of the Press is not a whim of the state
by Everett Wilson, 2/26/14
Why the United States Will not Get Competent Universal Health Care in my Lifetime
Six Obvious Reasons
by Everett Wilson, 11/15/13
An Open Letter to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
Clean Sweep Time
by Everett Wilson, 10/2/13
An Open Letter to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
Clean Sweep Time
by Everett Wilson, 10/1/13
Excerpt from my new novel, Scoundrels and Fools
Chapter 5: Ellis Johnson
by Everett Wilson, 7/12/13
The Rev. Marjorie Drickey's Last Message to a Dying World
And all the trumpets sounded for her on the other side.
by Everett Wilson, 2/14/13
» Complete List (151)


RSS FEED
RSS Feed for Everett Wilson: RSS Feed for Everett Wilson

Recently Published
View Article May I Be Frank, Mr. President?
Challenging a double standard in the Oval Office
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/15/17
Salvator Mundi
Not the painting but the Person
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/7/17
When the Newsman Becomes News
Lamenting yet another fallen hero
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/1/17
Let's Hear It for Moms and Pops
Celebrating Small Business Saturday in a very personal way
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/22/17
An Earthquake in La La Land
Examining what's been exposed in the rubble
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/17/17
Where is God?
Reflecting on the tragedy in a little Texas town
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/10/17
An All Saints Day Tribute
Remembering those who left us
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/3/17

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.


RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?
Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2017 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top