June 24, 2014

COMMENTARY: Failing to see God’s love

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Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the president of Morning Walk Media and publisher of Fresh Day online magazine. Photo courtesy of Tom Ehrich

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the president of Morning Walk Media and publisher of Fresh Day online magazine. Photo courtesy of Tom Ehrich

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(RNS) Churches die for many reasons, from bad leadership decisions to bad luck to poor execution of programs and ideas. One reason they die is ingratitude.

  • Lles Nats

    Excellent opinion piece. I completely agree.

  • Fran

    As Jesus so eloquently said, “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving”!!!!

    However, since we are living in the last days of an era, it was foretold what kind of people would be living in those days, and “unthankful” was one of them Timothy 3:1-5). It does not paint a pretty picture and is a worldwide problem; therefore, by applying what we read, study, learn, and apply in God’s Word, the Bible, we are able to keep the right attitude as well as proper action, still showing love for God and our fellowman.

  • Fran

    That was 2 Timothy 3:1-5 🙂

  • Mary Testin

    I don’t want to start a fight, but I’ll offer another perspective. It is true that parishioners can be blunt and downright cruel to their pastors and pastors do need to constantly set new boundaries and be committed to self-care. However, there are few vocations (outside of academia) who do receive sabbaticals and it calls to mind (yes– this may sting) that this may be an issue of clergy entitlement. There are many, many lay people who still only have 1-2 weeks of vacation a year and many others (like myself) who, because of the Recession have bumped from job to job for the last 5 years because I was laid off and I’m over 50. I’ve not had a vacation for 5 years and it would have irked me to hear a pastor who does get regular vacation ask for a sabbatical on top of it. Those days are over–clergy need to feel the struggle of their own people who could not dream of such a luxury and be glad for the vacation time they are already given.

  • Dudley Jones

    Probably the justification for the sabbatical is to avoid burnout. Being a clergy person can be really difficult, it seems to me.

    Most people do not burnout during their working lives because they do not have to put up with the psychological stresses that clergy experience.

    We computer programmers have our own problems with burnout.

    Good luck and enjoy your sabbatical.

  • George Waie

    People need someone to talk to someone invisible? Really? I haven’t so much as said “Hello” to a clergy member for over 15 years and I haven’t felt any lack yet.

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