Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reflection #33/40

Though my wife is an Episcopal priest, who works for a Lutheran church, I was raised in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and was, at one time, a Discordian. And I co-founded the Church of Toast, but that didn’t really take off.

None of my college friends ever expected me to become a clergy spouse, yet here I am. When Alice went to seminary, I even audited some classes. I know stuff about the Bible. I taught senior high Sunday school at Redeemer f
or a few years.

Being a clergy spouse is strange, because when you come to a new church, everyone knows your spouse, and you become well-known by association. So dozens of people greet you by name, and you have no idea who they are. As I understand it, there are many more expectations of clergy wives than of clergy husbands. The male clergy spouse is still relatively new enough that stereotypes haven’t had time to form.

Being a clergy spouse means that, even though you have done absolutely nothing to earn a position of importance, you get invited to all kinds of functions and events. One time Alice and I went to a party in honor of Bishop Herb Thompson’s retirement. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a friend of Thompson’s, was there. Alice and I went over and spoke to him briefly, and one of us made some reference to being old, and he said to us, “No, you are young and beautiful.”

Have you ever been called beautiful by a Nobel Peace Prize winner? I didn’t think so.

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