We had our monthly lay ministry team meeting last night.
Our pastor is trying to find preaching/presiding experiences for us outside the boundaries of our own congregation, and has been doing some networking around the state to let congregations in interim situations know that we're available to lead on any given Sunday. In going over the list of churches who might be open to such an endeavor he included one that, to maintain its anonymity, I'll call St. Vitus.
St. Vitus is a tiny, pastorless rural mission congregation that is -- what is the PC term? -- troubled. Its couple dozen regular members meet in an inadequate worship space that doesn't encourage growth. And its lay leadership, so I'm told, wants to go off the ELCA reservation in terms of ideas like banning female clergy, and is oh-so-close to winding up in a serious come-to-Jesus meeting with the bishop. And it's an angry congregation, evidently, with people always in a dustup about one thing or the other.
"So," my pastor said cheerfully, "who might be willing to help out at St. Vitus some Sunday?"
We all looked at one another.
"I'm not going back there," announced one of my colleagues -- someone with past professional experience in one of the roughest public school systems in the state. "They're mean."
Then someone noted, snarkily, "If you're passive-aggressive, there might be a certain amusement factor in taking on a service or two."
"You must be crazy," Fellow Traveler informed me when I got home.
Yeah. I must be.