As we celebrate the Easter season we are doubly blessed with the news of the call of a new priest in charge at St. David’s. This is an exciting time and there is much to prepare before the family arrives.
Here are some things to consider regarding your new parish priest and his family:
1. The rectory is their home. Please respect their privacy and space. Don’t interrupt your rector’s day(s) off because you need a key to get into the church. If they are outside enjoying the sun or weeding out a flower bed – allow them to have time to themselves and hold your questions about next week’s service or what to do about the leaky toilet in the men’s room for when the priest is in the office.
2. The rector’s spouse is not a second priest that comes as a package deal. Please don’t assume that because she is the wife of your priest, she will be immersed in the life of St. David’s. When I arrived to begin my first call, imagine my wife’s surprise when someone handed her a calendar for the altar guild and it listed her as the Altar Guild president! She wasn’t asked and it was assumed she wanted to be a part of the altar crew! The rector’s wife has her own set of gifts and interests. There may be things where she will be involved and then there may be other things she may not.
3. Do not use the rector’s spouse as a “go between.” If you have a concern or criticism about the priest then take it directly to the priest.
4. Give the priest and his family time to get to know the parish. Invite them to dinner. Have small groups of parishioners plan a get together for games, snacks and conversation.
5. WEAR YOUR NAME TAGS!!!!
6. While the priest will have plenty of opportunities for discussion and support, consider establishing a support group for the spouse. Have the group meet periodically for casual conversation and fellowship. Remember your priest’s spouse is his #1 caregiver. Even the caregiver needs a caregiver.
7. Pray for your new priest and his family!
Blessed Easter Season to you all!
In His love,