AN OPEN LETTER TO MY PARISH
My Dear People:
Here are some carefully considered suggestions which will help me to be a better pastor.
1. Sunday service times are important to both you and me. Before Liturgy, feel free to share your critical needs but do not approach me with non-essential problems before I go into the sanctuary. I don’t want to talk business or to try and solve problems before going into the altar that can be handled later.
2. If you have important matters to tell me as I greet you following the service, please write me a note. In all the press of circumstance, details of conversations at those times are likely to be forgotten. Don’t put too much trust in my memory by making appointments without giving me time to check and make a note on my calendar.
3. If you know of needs within the parish of which I have not been informed, please call me. Otherwise, I cannot minister to such needs.
4. Please don’t play games with me, like hide and seek — for instance, don’t hide from me to see how long it will take me to notice that you are not in attendance as usual. We should “put away childish things . . . .”
5. If you change addresses or phone numbers, please let the church office know.
6. Let me have your suggestions as to how to make our parish life more inspiring, or to improve a program. I welcome your ideas, and look forward to hearing those words from you which are music to a pastor’s ears: “O.K. — I’ll do it!”
7. If you feel neglected because I have not visited your home, please call and invite me to stop in and see you. Since it is often difficult to match my schedule with yours, a specific invitation will be welcome.
8. When you are faced with one of life’s big changes or big decisions, get in touch with me. Don’t plan your wedding, etc., without consulting the pastor first. I can advise you. In times of sickness and crisis, you don’t have to go it alone. In times of question and decision, I can let you know if the Church has a teaching which can help you. That’s why they call me “Father. . . . . . “
9. To be a better pastor, I need time for study and prayer. To be a better person, I need time to be with my family and relax. I try to take a day off each week for rest. If I am not in when you call, leave your name and phone number. I will return your call as soon as possible.
Thanks for your love and understanding in all things.