“So Rev, how’s your friend the other preacher?” I asked when the Rev. Farley O’Stoutville came to the coffee counter.
“You mean Inspi Ganymede? He’s alright. No changes in his situation, but I think he’ll find a way.”
“The problems you clergy face always surprise me. I didn’t know until I started working here. I’m not sure it helps me to go to church the more I hear about church situations.”
“Have a cup of coffee with me and we can talk. It doesn’t look like a very busy day and Ms. Anne Thrope would probably enjoy the front of the shop instead of doing paperwork.”
“Sure, I can do that. What do you want to talk about?”
“When you bring the coffee.”
I made two cups of Armenian coffee and took them to the table.
After he took a sip of the coffee, the Rev. said, “Inspi’s situation reminds me of a church I came to pastor when I was younger. I followed a pastor who had been there nine years—a long time in my denomination. No interim. One week he was there and the next week I was there. After a month, I knew it wasn’t the place for me. A lot of conflict because of the changed power situation. And when I say the ‘power situation,’ I simply mean new personalities and new chemistry among the people. A lot of resistance to anything different. I stayed there two years, but it felt much longer. In the end, I moved on to a different church. Some people left the church.”
“Did they deal with any of the conflict? Try to improve the situation?”
“From what I can tell, I don’t think they ever addressed the conflict. The pastor after me stayed 18 months. Another one came and stayed two years. They’ve had a string of short-term clergy.
“And that’s why I told Inspi that he and the church will probably part ways soon enough. I think it is a message of hope and consolation, though Inspi didn’t like it. But that’s life. No matter what, all shall be well.”
That’s when I noticed Ms. Anne Thrope signaling me to give her a hand. All shall be well–if I keep my job.