32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read for Seminarians, Clergy and Church Members!,
This review is from: This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers (Paperback)
At last there is a book about "what it's like to be a minister" and not a "how to do it right" book about ministry and it's written with candor and integrity. Lillian Daniel and Martin Copenhaver are both excellent writers in their own right and together they are the perfect writing duo to bring to light the realities of "This Odd and Wondrous Calling" that is parish ministry. I am now retired having been ordained 46 years ago and my wife and I both feel this is a book that should become required reading for every seminarian anticipating a career in parish ministry. Nowhere else will a "budding" clergy, female or male, find such a healthy and thoughtful reflection on the profession they are preparing to enter. And every lay person needs to read this book as well to learn something about themselves, they being "the church", as well as something about what their pastors experience. There is self-deprecating humor and honest self examination as these two dedicated professionals walk the reader through their professional experiences revealing both their foibles and the achievements that surprise them, but most of all they are not embarrassed to conclude that what they do is an "odd and wondrous calling" and not "a job." Bob Stout, Retired UCC Miinister
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Initial post: Apr 29, 2013 7:15:28 AM PDT
Bob, you taught me a valuable lesson - the line between minister and actor is non-existent, and 95 percent of ordained ministers are wannabe actors, who figure they won't ever get rich in the ministry but at least will have more reliable income than most actors do. I have known way too many clergy over the years to have any illusions about "men of God." They're vain, they sleep around (George and Mavis, but I could name several other examples...), they neglect their wives and children, and in the typical mainline church they spend maybe 15 minutes max on sermon prep, and for a sermon that is not designed to further the cause of Christ but to impress a very undemanding audience with how clever and compassionate the Rev is. Parishioners must be extremely gullible to think these frustrated and self-absorbed actors have any kind of "calling" from God, the calling is from their own egos. Then again, considering the membership figures for the UCC and other mainlines, maybe the parishioners aren't so gullible after all - I think people who genuinely do "hunger and thirst for righteousness" sense when the man in the pulpit is really there because God put him there, just as they sense that beating the drum for every left-wing political cause isn't the duty of the church but merely and excuse for the Rev to show himself as concerned-n-compassionate. Imagine what they church would be like if the actor wannabes and political activist types just dropped the mask, admit that God isn't even on their radar screens, and go into social work or therapy or get involved in community theatre. That would reduce the clergy pool hugely, but what a blessing to the churches.
Say hi to Ib for me.
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