My nature is to be a peacemaker. It is my deepest desire as it relates to being part of the church again. Yet, the deeper I dive, the more I see that my wounds have not yet healed. There is residual anger and resentment for feeling like I was not worthy to be part of their community unless I did it their way, and agreed with their interpretations.
It's clear my ability to be an effective peacemaker is contingent upon my ability to release the resentment surrounding the church's past. It seems rather silly when I compare myself to our Catholic counterparts who have much deeper wounds to heal.
The resentment that still sits right under the surface is not only the result of the last two decades, but the open sore that festers is more realistically attributed to the last two years in the United Methodist Church. I have felt invisible and dismissed. But it hasn't been a feeling alone, it has been happening. Damn, it hurt.
It's the first time in my professional career that my requests and invitations for lunch, meetings, converstaions, offering help in areas they were lacking, progressive ideas, etc. were literally ignored or, with one person, consistently discouraged, rejected, and ignored. I have, on numerous occasions, reached out to the district secretary, the District Superintendent, the Bishop (even at his request twice), the marketing department, and except for one, was never responded to. If this is the way they do business, it's clear why attendance is lacking.
Their inability to think I had any ability to help them - probably because I'm a 'pastor's wife" or I used to live in Idaho, is naive and limited on their part. THey didn't take a minute to look a little deeper into what I really had to offer them. What I really was offering them - for fre.