Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Priest is like Mary Poppins

A priest is like Mary Poppins’

Well worth reading.



Terri said...

cute, but as much as I like Mary Poppins as a children's movie and commentary on parenting, and even as there are, as she points out, connections between what Mary Poppins did and priests do, I'm not drawn to this just seems to trivialize the depth of interaction a priest has with people in the various stages of life - birth to death - stages that carry with them something holy and sacred. Mary Poppins blew in, made some changes, and left. I hope that is not what my ministry is like.

Muthah+ said...

I have never been a Mary Poppins fan either but I never read as a child so all of those stories went by me. I agree with you, Terri. But sometimes I know I need to lighten up and this kind of caught my fancy.

I am trying to see if how I have viewed the priestly ministry is part of the reason why the younger generations are migrating away from the Church. (Not all, today we had a new comer lunch with over 25 in attendance)

Part of my priestly ministry is to counteract the horrible image of priest that is stuck in some people's minds. But I don't think that too many people are reading Mary Poppins to their kids either. So where do those positive images come from? How do we regain that place where we can be those helps to those who are claiming that they are spiritual but not religious?

Terri said...

I never read Mary Poppins, but have seen the movie many times! I agree about the need to take ourselves lightly sometimes, no doubt! And I always wonder about the "effectiveness" of my leadership and minisrty and the decision people make to stay or leave the church...and the reality that it isn't all about me.

I do think that people are leaving the church for a whole host of reasons...too busy, think that all church is like that portrayed in the media- angry, closed minded, narrow, conservative, moralistic, judgmental....irrelevevant, the words don't make sense, the rituals don't make sense...and so on. I see my job as trying to reflect a church that makes sense, is not judgmental etc, and that we can come as we are and make time to come because we all really need community and relationship...sigh.

Diane said...

thank you for posting this, Muthah+. When I first read the title, I wasn't drawn to it either. But I thought she did a good job with some of the analogies anyway.

Then I read a couple of people making really snarky comments on line.

Linda McMillan said...

What do you mean by "claiming" that they are spiritual but not religious? Do you not believe us?

Ann said...

The essay infantalizes members - and as Linda McMillan says - "magical thinking" - nice she is so positive and cheery but being a companion on the way as part of the circle of believers is much more appealing though not quite so easy as snapping one's fingers and giving spoonfuls of sugar.

Ann said...

Diane - I am sure I wrote a couple of those -- this sort of thinking infantalizes all of us.

Muthah+ said...

Ann and Linda, I think we can push metaphors too far at times and I think that she does that. But that is what we preachers do.
I understand quite clearly the difference between "spiritual but not religious". Folks are saying that they are not willing to fit the relationship they have with the Holy to be confined by Church Doctrine. And even though we 'piskies say we have no doctrine--what in the hell are we fighting about?
I am not sure that I am not spiritual but not religious by Bass' definition simply because I don't want someone to try to tell me what my relationship with the Holy is. It is far too intimate to fight about.