I stuck my toes in the water again last night and attended a meeting with some of the regional leaders in the denomination that holds my ordination. It was called a "listening session." I don't know that I was invited, but it was just down the street from where I live, and I AM still an ordained pastor, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to sort of let people know I'm still alive and that I don't hate anybody. I was also curious as to exactly what a Listening Session is.
As far as the LS... I thought it a noble endeavor, and maybe a good idea, but... you know... it was basically on par with 2 hours of gouging my eyeballs out with a spoon. There were two older gentlemen who seemed to think they needed to do most of the talking. Ugh. In a way it made me happy I'm not involved with this sort of thing anymore. But I felt totally bad for the guy who was trying to run the meeting, as well as most of the other people there. It is amazing how inept some people are at actually sticking with a point and responding to the question that is being asked.
Other than that, though, it was a really good night for me personally. I was glad that I was able to walk into this room of former friends and associates and have a clear conscience and a pretty soft heart. I talked to the Director and we were able to have a nice discussion.
I also met the 'new guy' who took over as pastor at my former church. We had a brief chat and it went well. He seems like a good guy. I know it is hard for some people to believe, but I am really glad about that. I still care about that church community a great deal. For cryin' out loud, I lived and died with those people for 14 years! I didn't want some idiot jerk going there.
Anyway, he actually extended his hand before I was able to mine, and it was "a moment" for me. I was very relieved. Who knows what he's been told. It may not have been much, but for me it broke through a lot of ice. It's amazing how much healing can sometimes take place simply by meeting together with someone.