Today the congregation votes whether to call me as installed pastor. There have been struggles around terms of call (do I get to carry over study leave money for three years--standard in my previous presbytery). Not much, but enough, to leave a hurtful feeling in my heart. One member of the PNC that called me as designated doesn't want me to stay. Leaves a hurtful feeling in my heart.
We open ourselves to the pain in our congregations. I know how to take care of my self: friends, prayer, journaling, exercising, eating right, spiritual direction. Leaves a hurtful feeling in my heart, though.
I am called to offer love, support, affection, care. I am called to refrain from gossip, useless criticism. It's not a two way street, though. Leaves a hurtful feeling in my heart.
On the other hand, tomorrow, I'm leaving on a jet plane. Do know when I'll be back again--July 31. Will be away from internet, email, tv, radios for much of the time. We're going to Tibet, far, far western China, on a cruise to see the longest eclipse of the century (over 6 minutes of totality), then to Japan--not sure where yet. Have three at sea days on the boat: plenty of time to exercise, read, relax, do nothing.
I have lots to do yet, mostly packing and a few odds and ends like telling the neighbors I'm going. I am so looking forward to this. This will be my last time away (except for study leave at the end of September: a week in the holy city in God's most perfect place: I'm talking the Bay area, not Jerusalem). I hope I can make it through the fall. Of course, if they don't call me, I don't have to worry about that!