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Clergy spouses--check in here!

post #1 of 182
Thread Starter 
So, there seem to be a few of us on the boards now. Maybe the time is right to try and start a tribe again.

My name is Annette. I'm married to a Lutheran pastor. Things are especially funky at our house because I didn't convert and am still Catholic. The children (we have 4) were baptized in the Lutheran church. DH has been in the ministry five years, and this is our first call.
post #2 of 182
Hello. I am an Orthodox Christian priest's wife. We have been in our first parish for a year now.

Interestingly enough, I found this thread on a no-poop thread in the life with a babe forum.
post #3 of 182
Thread Starter 
Yay! Apparently, a lot of us clergy spouses have dealt with poop issues.
post #4 of 182
I might have used a stronger word than "poop" in that context, Annettemarie...

hello everyone! SheBear here! We are Baptist, our denomination is Primitive Baptist. Dh (HeBear, LOL!) began preaching when he was 18, and he's been the pastor of our church (www.palmchapel.org if anyone's interested!) for over 8 years now...he was called as pastor when the former pastor (age 85 at that time!) felt he could no longer attend to the congregation as he wanted. So the congregation went from an 85 year old who'd been preaching over 50 years to a 21 year old who had only been ordained for 6 months!

It was quite a transition, to say the least! Looking forward to learning and sharing with you ladies!
post #5 of 182
Thread Starter 
So, I have something nice to share. This month is the five year anniversary of DH's ordaination and installation (I know, it makes him sound like an appliance, LOL!). The church is having a big reception and all between services this Sunday. The bishop is coming and everything. He thinks the bishop is coming because he's retiring. Sort of like a farewell tour, I guess. DH is kind of clueless and gullible. I can't wait to see the look on his face.
post #6 of 182
I was looking for a place to post because I had a note at the top of my screen that I hadn't done that in a while.

I guess I'm a lurker at heart.

But I'm also a pastor's wife. My husband is looking for a new position right now and is interviewing tomorrow with an ELCA mission church. Maybe that's a smart move with all the stuff going on in our church right now :

Hi!
post #7 of 182
Thread Starter 
Hi there! My DH ELCA as well!
post #8 of 182
Hi! Glad you found us! (Glad Annettemarie found ME, LOL!)

I have been given the privilege of making the communion bread for tomorrow! I've always wanted to, but that duty has always fallen to one of the deacon's wives.....she was doing it long before we moved to this church, and I certainly didn't want to butt in and take over. Personally, I think it's a task that should be alternated (or shared) by all the sisters in the church (not to exclude the brothers, but I think it would be a special thing for the women to share, to teach the younger ones, etc. Anyway.)

She decided not to do it this time (not sure why, but she's somewhat elderly, so she may just not feel like it), and I happened to be in the right place at the right time to volunteer! I'm really excited about it. It really feels like an honor! Of course, I'm also a bit anxious that it turn out well, etc...


So, has anyone else ever done this? Any tips? Any favorite recipes? (although it's hard to think of too many variations to flour, salt, a bit of oil, and water, LOL! Especially since really only 2 of those ingredients are essential! )

Anyway, I just wanted to share, and y'all seemed the logical ones to share with!

Blessings to everyone who is meeting for worship tomorrow!
post #9 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Hi there! My DH ELCA as well!
we're actually "whiskypalian" as they say. But things are a tad bit messy right now, so my husband was interested in taking advantage of that full communion thing...but he's not so sure the church he interviewed with is the thing for him. It sounded like a really cool place though. we're in the midst of trying to figure out where the heck we're supposed to be. Sigh!

SheBear, how did your bread turn out? It's very rare to find homemade bread in our church, though I have baked it before. I think the kind I made was probably very different from yours. My recipe was a whole wheat one with honey, on the sweet side. I don't think I have it anymore though.
post #10 of 182
Thanks for asking, AnyMama! Yours sounds yummy! Bummer you don't have the recipe anymore! Mine turned out fine, but a bit different than what the other sister usually makes. Hers turns out very thin--paper thin--and very crisp. You can hear it breaking, and dh says that when he goes to break it, shards fly all over. Mine turned out thicker, and sort of chewy, like pita bread. Dh said it was more a matter of tearing it, rather than breaking it. Either way is fine, as far as I'm concerned....just slightly different methods. Anyway, no one complained--at least not to me, LOL!

I got the recipe that I used from a sister at the church where I grew up (in Arizona). By the time I decided that I wanted an actual recipe, rather than just winging it, it was too late to call anyone local, but we have a 2-hour time difference with AZ, so I called her instead!

Communion Bread

2 cups flour (bread of life)
1 tsp salt (salt of the earth)
2 Tbsp olive oil (anointed with oil)
1/2 cup filtered water (living water)

Preheat oven to 375

Sift together flour and salt. Add oil to water, whisk briskly to emulsify. Pour into a well in the flour. Mix together until dough forms, knead with hands until dough is smooth consistency. If necessary, add extra water, a half tsp at a time. Divide into four equal balls, roll each ball flat, about the thickness of pie crust (should be approximately 8 inch diameter).

Score each loaf with the tines of a fork to keep it from puffing while baking. You can score it in small squares in order to facilitate breaking, if desired. Place on lightly greased (with olive oil) sheet pan. Bake for approximately 7 minutes (seven is the number of completion). Loaves should be firm to the touch, opaque in the center, and just barely beginning to brown.

Dh tested the bread for me after it was finished, he said it tasted good! He said it would be a good recipe for serving with soup, etc. For that, I think I'd add a bit more salt (maybe brush the tops of the loaves with milk or egg wash (or just olive oil would be fine, too), then sprinkle salt or herbs, etc) to pep up the flavor a bit more. I think the key is to start with really good, really fresh flour. Mine was pretty good, but not the best. If I do the bread again, I'll make sure I have some freshly milled flour to start with.
post #11 of 182
SheBear, how many does that recipe serve???

Anyway, hello everyone! I'm Becky and my DH is a youth minister. We are Independent Christians. We are still at Dh's first job...going on 3 years. I'm really not enjoying my time at this church and look forward to moving on (hopefully soon). Anyone served at an awful church? :

Something I'm wondering is do people expect you, as the pastor/minister's wife to do A LOT? At our church, it is hard to find good help/volunteers. Do they try to go for the "two for one" deal you? Being a youth minister's wife, I just feel like my calling isn't to work with children and people always tell me how wrong I am for that. I know that I do need to get in there and do stuff, but I don't feel like I need to take over everthing. I'm having a hard time balancing. I find myself not volunteering for things b/c they do not have childcare for every service (just Sunday mornings). I just feel like I need to take care of my daughter first and then when she's old enough to go to the kiddy classes, then jump in more. Do I know sound defensive?? I'm having the hardest time dealing and I'm needing some insight from some other ladies who have been doing this longer then me.
post #12 of 182
Welcome, Becky! The recipe made four loaves, each about the size of a pita. For communion (half-inch squares or so) I'd guess that each loaf would easily serve 25, so one recipe = 100 communion servings. If you are serving it with a meal, in place of crackers or croutons, etc., I'd say it would serve prolly 6-8 people.

As for the rest of your post, !! I can sympathize on some level, even though my circumstance is somewhat different. We are still at dh's first church--he's been pastor here for 8 years. It is not uncommon amongst our (Primitive Baptist) churches for one congregation to have the same pastor for 20 years or more--one church I know of had the same pastor for 50 years before he died! So in one way, 8 years doesn't seem like very long, but I know that dh has gotten discouraged at times and looks over here, or over there, and thinks maybe the grass might be greener....He is strongly attached to his family (which is not a bad thing, by any means!) and dreams about one day serving a church closer to them. Nothing wrong with that, and someday, maybe we'll be blessed to do so! Or we may end up on the other side of the planet...who knows?

The only thing I know for SURE is that, no matter what church you are serving, there will ALWAYS be problems, and personality conflicts, and sin, sin, sin. And if the grass across the fence really is greener, it's prolly because they use more manure, KWIM?

I think the hardest part of being a pastor's wife (for me!) is remembering that I married a MAN, not his job. Just because I am Mrs. Michael doesn't mean I am Mrs. Pastor. I married him, and my most earnest desire is to support his calling and his dreams, but that would (should) be the case whether he were a doctor or plumber or whathaveyou. Certainly, I *want* to serve my church and do my part as part of the church, but there really shouldn't be a higher responsibility placed on me than on any other member......

.......and then there's reality, LOL! In reality, there ARE more responsibilities, more expectations. In many cases, I think people don't even realize what they are doing--certainly they would deny it vehemently if you were to ask anyone outright "do you expect more of me, the pastor's wife than of any other sister in the church?" But the reality is much different.

And I'm like you....I believe my number one, God-given duty--after my relationship with my husband--is being a mother to my children. It comes first. God commands it. I CANNOT be a good member/volunteer/anything else in the church if I am not first taking care of my family.

This is where I'm really quite thankful for our church body, which has quite a number of older couples whose children are grown. They remember what it is like to have small children, and they don't expect me to volunteer or show up for everything. They know I have to leave before naptime, and so forth. Honestly, many times I feel guilty that I don't do more, don't take charge more, don't lead more. But my family comes first. Worship starts in the home, and my most blessed priviledge and most serious obligation is to serve my family first and teach them about the God we serve.

Someday I'll have more time to give to the church, and to the larger community. Someday I'll have time (and the wisdom, I hope!) to teach the younger women. To practice more hospitality, etc. But at this season in my life, I have to do the work *for* this season in my life, KWIM?

And just try my best to humbly, patiently explain why I cannot do everything else, as well. Really, I can't complain. Our church has been, as a whole, so good to us as a young family just starting out...most of the pressure I feel to live up to the Impossible Standard is probably self-inflicted or imagined. But the Standard is still there, and I do know how draining it can be, knowing you are being compared to a myth and being found constantly lacking.

Hugs again!
post #13 of 182
Wow! Thank you so much for that reassurance! It means so much to me. Seriously.

And you know, when I start feeling really down about all of this I can find myself getting the attitude of not wanting to do anything at all. But I have to keep telling myself (and should really put it up on my bathroom mirror!), NOT TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE. so I've had to pull out of a few things that felt like I was quite good at: nursery and teaching on wed nights and found other places that I am. I really want to have a servants heart, but right now I am having the hardest time.

We feel like we are being called to live closer to our families as well. I get lonely when DH goes to church camp in the summers. He's practically gone for a good month and a half. I get lonely with not having my family around b/c no one here ever calls to check on me or invite me to dinner or whatever. In fact, I go home a lot during this time. We do have some friends our age here, and I'm sure they'd just tell me to call them up and invite myself over, but I'm just not that kind of person. :

I'm sure I sound really mean and selfish, but I am just so unhappy here. : It's really effecting me negatively, which then effects my family.

I feel like I need a mentor! :
post #14 of 182
Oh and thanks for the communion bread recipe!
post #15 of 182
I so hear you on the loneliness. My parents live 2000 miles away, and my inlaws are 250 miles away. I have 3 sisters and 2 adult brothers (my baby brother is the same age as my oldest son) and we are all fairly close, but none of us live close together. Actually, my eldest slster is about 250 miles or so, but in the 8 years we've lived here, she's never once come to visit us--we've been up to see her several times, and it sorta hurts my feelings. It makes me feel like that connection is much more important to me than it is to her. Especially since she doesn't even have children to have to plan for and travel with!

Anyway, that was a tangent, and obviously a sore spot with me (and I really didn't even realize it was sore, LOL!)

But I do understand the loneliness, and i haven't figured out a solution to it. Our church is very good--a close-knit, loving, caring group, but gosh, everyone is just so busy all the time, you know? I'm as bad as anyone else about not thinking to pick up the phone or make time for coffee or lunch with someone. And of course I make excuses....I can't go have coffee and just visit because of the kids, and I can't have people over just at the drop of the hat because my house isn't clean enough, and besides, we live so far from town that no one wants to come out, especially with gas prices so high.....blah blah blah.

I know that everyone else is the same. Just full of good intentions and honest love & concern, and then time gets away, and whoa, I haven't seen you since *last* Sunday! How was your week?

But it does get discouraging, doesn't it? Especialy if you are the one who always has to make every. single. overture. of fellowship. I've been there, too.....so&so seems to have a good time when we get together, our kids enjoy playing, but she never calls me back.....I have to do all the inviting and planning and arranging, and is she only agreeing because I'm the pastor's wife and she's being polite, or is she just shy? Golly, it's a lot like dating--except you don't get the reward of that "being in love" rush, LOL!

I think I need a mentor too! And I KNOW I need some sleep--it's horrible of me to still be up at 1:30 am when we have church in the morning! :

Blessings to everyone!
post #16 of 182
Thread Starter 
Yay! The thread is still going!

Things have been crazy here. Last week, they had a reception for my husband to celebrate his fifth year of ministry/fifth year at Messiah. It was a surprise, although I knew about it. I was expecting some warm lemonade, cookies, a photo collage taped to posterboard, and an Augsburg Fortress gift card. Instead, there was a huge silver and china reception, a handsewn chasuble, a quilted photo wallhanging, and a check for over $1200. It was truly humbling.

That same weekend, the senior pastor was elected bishop by two votes. This means we are either moving up or moving on. That sounds snottier than it is, but if DH isn't bumped up to senior pastor, we'll have no choice but to leave. It's very scary, but I'm having faith that we're going to end up exactly where God wants us to be. I keep telling myself, "Churches don't call pastors; God calls pastors."
Quote:
I think the hardest part of being a pastor's wife (for me!) is remembering that I married a MAN, not his job. Just because I am Mrs. Michael doesn't mean I am Mrs. Pastor. I married him, and my most earnest desire is to support his calling and his dreams, but that would (should) be the case whether he were a doctor or plumber or whathaveyou. Certainly, I *want* to serve my church and do my part as part of the church, but there really shouldn't be a higher responsibility placed on me than on any other member.....
This really speaks to me. My hubby is good at saying "You're not a pastor's wife; you're my wife. You didn't marry the church!" I've found with four kids, people's expectations for my involvement are fairly low, but they're constantly after me to join the choir. I do teach Sunday School, run a clothing exchange, sing when they need soloists, help out with VBS, and occassionally help with the youth group, but I do those things because I want to and not because I have to.

Right now, I'm just proud because 4 kids and myself are ready to go to the late service, and we don't have to leave for another 45 minutes. Whoo hoo!
post #17 of 182
I don't have time to write much now...... guess where I am off to? It is Sunday morning.

My dh is a minster in the United Church of Canada and I am Roman Catholic. Our children attend the United Church on Sunday and go to a Catholic School.
post #18 of 182
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantimama View Post
I don't have time to write much now...... guess where I am off to? It is Sunday morning.

My dh is a minster in the United Church of Canada and I am Roman Catholic. Our children attend the United Church on Sunday and go to a Catholic School.
That is so cool! Not only are we mod sisters, but we're Catholic sisters too!
post #19 of 182
Thread Starter 
Dang, we peaked too soon. They were all ready and looking presentable... til Michael threw the chalkboard eraser at Katie Grace's back and left a huge mark. Then I noticed he had also wiped his chalky hands all over his front. Sigh.
post #20 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Dang, we peaked too soon. They were all ready and looking presentable... til Michael threw the chalkboard eraser at Katie Grace's back and left a huge mark. Then I noticed he had also wiped his chalky hands all over his front. Sigh.
When I saw that I laughed because around our house, being ready for church too early means something will go very wrong and we will be late or miserable by the time we get there.

dh has been a minister for 12 years. During that time very few people have had high expectations of me just because I am his wife - and those that do are generally the kind of poeple who would be like that with anyone! I often find that they ask less of me than others because they assume I am already so busy.

My approach is that I am dh's wife first and foremost, I married him, not the church. The greatest service I can offer the churches he serves is to love their pastor well so he is grounded and happy and growing. My job is to be a loving partner, to support him where I can, to be a place of restoration and encouragement when he has been up all night with a family in the hospital after a tragedy, to keep him going during the weeks with 4 funerals, to help him keep his life balanced so it isn't just church, church and more church.

dh serves two churches, one in our small town and another rural church in a farm community nearby. The children and I attend the town church and I am responsible for the Sunday school. I generally go to mass on Saturday evenings - we have a good relationship with the parish priest here, which is great for us.

I am also trained in spiritual direction, which I mainly offer in my own Catholic parish but I do see a couple of people from dh's church.

Question - how do your children feel about church? Mine are mixed, depending on the day. This morning one of mine really didn't want to go, she said, "Mama, I love God with all my heart but I am just so tired of church!"
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