Wednesday, July 17, 2019

New Findings On The Relevance Of Clergy Are Not Inspiring

A new poll suggesting the waning influence of clergy doesn't really surprise me.  Perhaps the only thing that is at all newsworthy is that the poll describes religions opinions in the United States, which reinforces ongoing findings that even the US is becoming increasingly secular.

That the clergy are less respected than other professions (financial, medical, etc) seems to me a wholly expected result of secularization and the general decline of participation in churches.  As someone who wears a cross on a military uniform and, occasionally, a civilian clergy shirt and dog collar, I don't expect deference from strangers.  Usually I hope for a sort of forbearance or polite tolerance, and hope to build on that.

What I find most interesting, and most hopeful, from this article is this part:

“There are people who are smarter, more competent, more equipped in certain fields, and that’s where we go for those sorts of answers,” said Kurt N. Fredrickson, associate professor of pastoral ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Clergy, Fredrickson said, must recognize that churches today are often seen as fire stations — places to go when all else falls apart.
“I help younger pastors, pre-service, flip the power structure upside down; rather than seeing pastors as the top of the triangle I want to help pastors become servant leaders.”
My advice for practicing and aspiring clergy who wish to be relevant would be that, in lieu of seeking or expecting a mostly vanished social respect and prestige, seek instead to cultivate character, empathy, and compassion.


Friday, July 5, 2019

The Chaplain Kit: An Online Resource for Chaplains


I am posting a link to a US website called The Chaplain Kit, an online resource centre for military chaplaincy in an American context.

Some interesting resources including a guide to chaplains as depicted in films and movies.

I have a soft spot for this photo found on the site, as the reference to Hattiesburg in the caption gives it away as being taken in Camp Shelby, Mississippi.   My late wife Kay grew up in Hattiesburg and worked in the PX there as a teenager.  Not sure how that's relevant to anything, but there you go.

Blessings,  MP+

Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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