Our final worship service together on Sunday, April 26 ended with a ritual of Times of Passage with the congregation releasing me from the duties of Interim Minister. I also released the congregation from turning to me and depending on me as its minister. I was asked if I would offer my encouragement for the continued ministry at FCC and on the relationship with The Rev. Bethany Meiers who will come to serve. I do and I will.
To help in that process of moving on, I offer up the following boundary expectation that I am required to follow and ask you to honor.
As an authorized minister of the United Church of Christ, I am required upon leaving a particular ministry to have no further interaction with church members. It is an ethical mandate I respect. But, during this interim period, many parishioners have become friends, or think of themselves primarily as “my friend” rather than as a parishioner in my care. This blurring of boundaries is inevitable in ministry, but it does not give me permission to ignore the mandate I am obligated to follow.
I hope you will understand that as I ‘unfriend’ you on FB, it has nothing to do with how I feel about you or the relationships we have enjoyed. It does not mean that you are not accompanied every day by my prayers that you and all whom you love will be richly blessed and upheld by grace. And I ask that you continue to hold me in prayer as well. This is simply something I am bound to do so that the church and I can move on.
Therefore, by the beginning of May, I will be removing as FB friends all those currently active in the church. It is, indeed, hard for me, but it is necessary for the good of the church and for us to move into the future unfettered. I am also asking that you remove me from any listings which hold my church email address and/or personal email address, personal phone number and ask that you no longer email or text me. It will be hard for me if you don’t do this as I will be in the unhappy position of having to block your contact. I know this is difficult – it is difficult for me as well.
I thank you for understanding, and for sustaining me these past two years as your Interim Minister. Many blessings on your continued journey as you walk into the future with Rev. Bethany Meiers.