Monday, October 19, 2015

Human Flaw

After much though, discussion and prayer I decided to step down from my role as the coordinator of our church’s faith formation program.  Of course I will continue doing my work until a replacement is found and in my heart I hope that is sooner rather than later.  I will stay on as a catechist until the end of the year, but balancing the administrative work on a volunteer basis with my full time job as a home educator and adding serious illness to it has been unbalanceable.  

I am a only a volunteer, yet I took my job seriously.  I gave it my heart and my heart is not so tough.  I never wanted to be an administrator when I was teaching because I never wanted to deal with parents and teachers and the continuous issues that arise when dealing with these two groups.  Issues have to be resolved and 99% of them are reasonable.  It’s the 1% that do me in.  I just wanted to teach and sadly I learned why I never wanted to be an administrator when I stepped into this role as a volunteer last year.  

I now have a better understanding of why people leave organized religion or participate from a place of low involvement.  They show up, they tithe what they can, they take the message from the pulpit, and they go home and try to incorporate the teachings of Christ into their own lives.  I always questioned why more people do not get more involved to help their church grow and thrive.  Now I have a better understanding, at least from my perspective as a parent and a woman who is probably over-scheduled and over-stressed from her life.  

I want church to be a safe haven, a place of refuge or security.  Church gives me what I need to live my best life.  The message is not always pleasant, the tasks at hand of becoming a better person are not always easy, and I am not looking for a “make me feel good” homily.  I am looking for a “why the word of God should be at the forefront of my life” homily and thankfully I get this at our church.  

Traditions of Catholicism are ancient.  I love the rituals, the consistency of the mass, the prayers, the statues, the saints, the stained glass.  It is a very calming place.  Except when it isn’t.  

The church, any church, whether it is Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Non-Denominational is run by humans and these humans share all their flaws in church.  Church as times feels like an organization driven by the need for funds to operate.  At times church feels to big, like a monolith, doing wonderful things for the community, but at the same time, feeling too large to be something to connect with intimately.  People get tied up with their role, their place, their “ownership” of their piece of the church and conflicts arise.  It has been my experience that in the very place where we gather to learn the teachings of Christ, we often do the very opposite of what he is teaching.  

Over and over again I ask myself why this is and all I can come back to is human flaw.  

* All photos curtesy of Grace


Nicole T said...

My daughter and I were having this same conversation yesterday. The easy answer is that people mess up the church. And, the church is not where we go to worship, it's our every day lives. I have been to big churches, small churches, with a myriad of people involved. And what I have increasingly learned over the years is how important it is to have a daily relationship with God. My church is where God and I meet each day. (I do go to a small church. I teach Sunday School to 4-6th graders. But I have stepped down from all other areas of service.)

Karen said...

I know how hard this was for you. Hugs and love.

~Niki~ said...

yes. take care of yourself!

LJS said...

Thank you!

LJS said...

Hard to make the decision, but now that it is made, I am at peace.

LJS said...

I have to get better at this. I love listening to sermons in my car, mostly from Joel Osteen, and when I sit at the beach and listen, I feel like he is speaking directly to me. At home though, I have to carve out the time to just be still and pray. Thank you for this reminder.

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