How not to introduce your spouse to the new church…

About this time last year, my blogging was pretty quiet. I was in the midst of searching for a call, and I didn’t want to say a whole lot.

In a previous post, I started writing some of the things I would have written a year ago. And I promised this story: how not to introduce your spouse to the new community.

I was invited out to Geneva for dinner and a meeting with the APNC (non-Presbyterian translation: Associate Pastor Nominating Committee, aka “Search Committee”).

Now, I had no idea what to expect. I grew up and was trained in a denomination where Search Committees don’t have quite the “veil of secrecy” that Presbyterian PNC’s have. And, when a committee decided to offer you as a possibility for a call, the congregation wouldn’t necessarily vote for you: you had to preach first, be interviewed by the congregation, and sometimes wait several weeks before the congregation voted. Going out to have a meal with the committee didn’t necessarily mean you’d wind up living in the place.

Add to this my confusion about what to do with my spouse. The old denomination would routinely interview pastor’s wives alongside their husbands. But Erik is no pastor’s wife, and I had no idea how Presbyterians do this, or what to do with him.

But, I wanted him to see the town. I didn’t tell the APNC he was coming. I didn’t want them to feel obligated to invite him, since I wasn’t sure if that was the done thing, and I didn’t want them to feel bad that I’d left him on the streets of Geneva.
So, Erik and I trekked out to Geneva and I deposited him on the main drag with his laptop and a list of restaurants with wireless access. There was a Starbucks, so we figured he could probably just buy a cup of coffee and move in there.
Then I went on a tour and out for dinner with the APNC.

Next thing I didn’t know: the dinner interview was LONG. (But, good, obviously, since I eventually accepted a call…)And as it crept past 9 o.clock, I started to wonder how Erik was doing. And so, later, much later, that evening, Joyce, one of the APNC member’s wives, picked me up at the restaurant to bring me back to my car at church. (Oh, and side-note, remember that whole veil of secrecy thing? Well, Joyce was basically not allowed to TALK to me. Awkward ride. Especially since I now know that she’s about as gregarious as they come.) It being past 10:00, I wondered what Erik was doing.

Joyce gave me directions back to the tollway, and then I got in my car, pulled out of the parking lot, and called Erik. He was a few blocks away. It had been a quite a night. Turns out that Starbucks in the suburbs closes pretty early. It was getting cold. He wound up in a bar. Meanwhile, Joyce was following me to make sure I didn’t get lost. Crap, I thought, I can’t let her see me picking up this strange man wandering the streets. So, I told Erik to go to a side street and wait. When I turned, I thought I had lost Joyce. Erik jumped in the car, but around the corner from the other end of the block came Joyce. And, I guess I thought I’d better explain why I was picking up strange men in the middle of the night. She promised complete discretion.

2 Responses to “How not to introduce your spouse to the new church…”

  1. ppb Says:

    hee hee!

  2. Meika Says:

    Hahahahaaaaa! Ha. Heehee. Ha. Good story. :)