Monday, March 26, 2012

What wonderful churches can do for their pastor

It just seems right that on Easter Sunday you should be able to drive to church and comment on the blooming dogwood trees, though I recognize that such a statement is geographically biased. 

I feel bad for my more northerly based colleagues (southern as well) but here in the Georgia Piedmont no matter when Easter comes, and it ranges from March 22 to April 25, it seems that dogwood trees are always ready with splendid blooms to honor the Day of Resurrection.

This year it might be a stretch, since our warm winter has things blooming on an accelerated schedule but I bet that in two weeks I can find some trees still in bloom around here.

I can stand at the big window on the back of my house and count about two dozen wild dogwoods in the woods.

Very nice.

So, what does this have to do with what wonderful churches can do for their pastor? 


Gazing at the dogwoods yesterday reminded me of how blessed I am in living in the home that my wonderful wife and I own (together with a certain quasi-governmental mortgage holding corporation which still expects monthly checks) rather than in a home owned by the church.

About ten years ago, my church agreed to sell the pastorium, pay me a housing allowance (actually increase the allowance, since part of my income was already in a housing allowance), and allow me to find my own home. A nice lady in the church sold us five heavily wooded acres and we eventually built a house.

It wasn't easy but it was a good thing, something that needed to be done for the both of us, and we worked together to do it. I don't know the proportion of SBC churches that still have pastoriums although I believe it has been shrinking.


I’m a little hesitant to invoke Providence for every financial and material eventuality in my life but I can see God’s hand in all that. I retired without having to make any transition in living arrangements, other than planning to sleep a little later in the mornings.

God is good. Jesus is wonderful…and aren’t the dogwoods nice this year?


J L Carver said...

Bottom line, a house purchase is the primary means for an individual to build an equity base for future housing security. Even in the economy of the past few years, those who purchased housing at reasonable prices and within appropriate financial limits enjoy the benefit of building housing equity. A pastor in a parsonage is essentially robbed of that opportunity unless the church makes some allowance for the building of an equity fund for the pastor.

Lee said...

It's been a warm winter, and the middle two weeks of March were springlike, unseasonably warm, and lasting long enough to get the blooms started about a month early here in Western Pennsylvania. So, unlike last year at this time, we have dogwoods in bloom.

Unfortunately, we had a hard freeze earlier in the week, so they probably won't last until Easter.