Moving ?!

5 03 2013

Eight months ago I moved to Murphy, North Carolina to become the pastor of Murphy First UMC . Before I arrived I heard rumors that I was to be a one year leader before moving onto greener pastures. Now that will take some of the joy out of packing and unpacking! Not to mention it usually it takes at least one meeting before someone wants get rid of me:-)!

So, why mention this? Two reasons: In this past one week I have had no less than 4 church members ask, “Is what I have heard true? Are you moving?” The other is that it is a teachable moment.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this misinformation is being circulated. I guess somewhere between wishful thinking, hopeful delusion, a vivid imagination.

In spite of my denial of such a plan or intention, it seems that the rumor lives on. You see, a rumor can live on less than a calorie today. Not constrained by fact or reason, gossip is like a cockroach. I’ve heard it said cockroaches will survive a nuclear attack.

My father speaking of gossip, rumor, innuendo, said, “It doesn’t have to be so in order for some folks to say so.” My mother called that, “Reckless with the truth”. So how can we dispel the darkness of rumor and gossip. It is not too complicated; ask, talk, listen, learn.

I have a rule that I wish I followed more often than I do. Relationships grow stronger when people talk with each other, weaker when we choose talking to each other, on life support when we talk at  another and are all but dead when folks talk about each other.

I would guess we have all had times when we felt talked at or to. Who among us has not been talked about?  But in those exchanges during which we talked with another we have known a glimmer of hope.

In my own experience I get why we don’t.  It is difficult. We become vulnerable. We might lose,  be wrong and the list is as endless as human frailty. But for the most part, we don’t know how. But the only way to learn is to try.

Talking with someone means we are willing to listen more than we are to speak. We try to hear to understand instead of talking to be understood.

And as for moving. I am open to talking with any and all about why I have no boxes in the attic and no plans for packing! Sorry, but barring some totally unexpected news from the Bishop, Murphy First UMC ,  you’re stuck with me ! 🙂

Murphy First