Ask The Matriarch: How to “Retire” a Faithful Servant

Let’s take a moment to call to mind, with deep appreciation, the saints in our congregations who give their time and energy to our congregations’ ministries, sometimes for years. Especially beloved are those who selflessly serve the children and youth of the church. Can we talk about how to shift their role and honor their… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: When Clergywomen Make Friends (with each other)

To keep healthy boundaries with those in our congregations, we clergy have been admonished to “have friendships outside the church.” An important life component, to be sure, but adding “make some friends” may not make it into the clergy schedule this week, or next week either. Are there extra challenges for the single clergy woman… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: “Whose Side Are You On?”

Has this happened to you? You are rocking along in a congregation that is challenging enough and then something way unexpected happens. This week’s question asks what to do when what is going on outside the congregation shows up inside the congregation and involves parishioners on both sides of a conflict situation. I’m finding myself… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: What About Family Leave?

Asking for what we need in a pastor call agreement is difficult. Even more difficult might be anticipating what might be needed and figuring out what is reasonable. The question today is about asking for family leave — including maternity leave/parental leave.  Dear Matriarchs: I have just graduated from seminary and am seeking a call… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Helping Children Move when the Pastor is Called Away

This question comes from one of our RevGal colleagues who is feeling overwhelmed by what it means for her family when God’s call means big changes:  Dear Matriarchs: Could I get some advice from other mama pastors? I have been seeking a new call and doing some interviews in some distant places. Now one of… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Toward More Robust Congregational Singing

This week’s question comes from a small church pastor. Can those of us who have enjoyed serving small congregations relate to this challenge? Dear Matriarchs, I am a few months into a new call to another small congregation. They are delightful and I am happy to say that we are getting off to a great… Read More

The Pastoral is Political: That Dog, Those Cows, and the Elephant in the Room

About that dog: A dog died on a plane earlier this month.   My Facebook and Twitter blew up with the story of the 10-month-old French bulldog who died on a United Airlines plane after the flight attendant required the animal to be placed in the overhead bin during the flight. A “shaken” passenger began… Read More