As my regular readers know, I’m part of the local Protestant church and on the Presbyterium (PCC). From the start there was a conflict of three very strong characters. The Pastor is an ex Catholic Priest, and while he preaches good, I don’t think he has Pastoral skills. He runs his main church down in Judenburg, and comes up to Murau for services, and he has to teach in the schools. He’s a bit manic, has accused me of being fundamental which in my books is ok! Then there’s the Curator, a woman who comes over very hard but is soft inside, and Mary who is a wonderfully busy worker, mother, operetta player who doesn’t know how to delegate, takes every thing on herself and knows better than the Pastor on a lot of things (she thinks) and is a bit controlling but maybe she does know the local people better.
At the beginning of my tenure, I suggested a weekend away where we could sort the differences, but all we did was devise a motto which has never been used. A chance was missed. In the past four years, the superintendent has been in to resolve more conflicts, and I thought maybe a bit of progress would be made, but I was saying so often, we have nothing to offer new Christians until we build a new heart here, operate with the Holy Spirit and love..
We didn’t meet over Christmas, but when we did the sparks flew again. The Pastor walked out over firstly an argument about a funeral and then about when he was taken to task for something said in a sermon not the time and place. The financial guy and I exchanged grimaces, but then I was asked what I thought. I lost my temper. I said, where was Jesus in all this? This PCC has no chance of a future of we go on like this, and I walked out. The next day I emailed them all my resignation. There have been a few emails around conciliatory and inflammatory, making positions possibly more entrenched. They asked me if I would return and I said no, if I went back, the PCC would never change. They need outside, independent counselling, or maybe a new election of new members.
So one of the things I thought I was doing something for God with is gone. We stay as church members. I admit I was frustrated in the post as I was never given anything to do -Mary made sure of that, and a lot of issues didn’t concern me, living 30 km from the mother church. But I don’t know. The church here in Tamsweg is mostly old ladies and I see in five years, when they are gone, no more church. What next? Would you have walked or stayed?