Post-Christmas Rant

I don’t rant often here; especially since Rachel (my beloved wife) lamented that blog=rant.

But rant I must.

At least 2 District Superintendents in the Central Texas Conference receive Christmas gifts from the clergy  they supervise. In one case this is done by “voluntary donation” solicited by one of the clergy.  In the other I’m not sure of the procedure, but that DS publishes a list of who contributes and who doesn’t.  The gift, in that DS’s case, totals about $1000.

District Superintendents in our conference make more that $100K – that’s public knowledge.  Whether or not you consider this a lot of money, it is, unarguably, much more than most of the clergy they supervise.

I believe it is inapproriate for supervisors to accept gifts, especially expensive gifts, from those whom they supervise.  it is even more inappropriate to publish a list of who gives and who doesn’t.

Am I way off-base here?  Please tell me what you think.

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9 thoughts on “Post-Christmas Rant

  1. I always follow the “cheerful giver” rule. It doesn’t really matter if you give to someone who has more than you do. It only matters if you are happy to do it. If you’re not, don’t.
    Send a nice card on your own with a handwritten note inside.
    And publishing a list for all to see is VERY tacky.

  2. Steve:
    1) I want to be a DS in Your Conference
    2) A gift is a gift. An anomymous group gift from the District, perhaps put together by a District Pastoral care committee is fine.
    3) The expectation of a monetary gift and the publication of such is incredibly inappropriate and offensive. If you don’t pay will it effect your next appointment? Who knows
    4) Dude if you haven’t killed your career by now don’t worry about it.

  3. I am with you all the way. I don’ t think you are off-base. It’s not a huge base to start with, but you are squarely upon it.

    The behaviour you speak of is part of the ‘package deal’ which i hope to write a book about if i ever get the chance. It’s so common in society that even most people with good sense don’t notice or think twice.

    Also part of the deal: Freedom isn’t free, make checks payable to Halliburton!

  4. I’ve become somewhat anti-Christmas as of this year. While I do believe that observation of ritual days is really helpful as we take stock of our spiritual walk, I’m just … tired. With four kids ranging in age from 11 to 21, and this being the first year since the first was born that nobody believed in S.C., the amount of money we spent on Christmas seemed excessive and pointless. Not that I regret the purchases per se — John got a Mac notebook that he loves, Will got a couch for his apartment that Doug and I spent a lot of time shopping for a good deal on, Kyle got an XBox 360 (no hard drive though — that might come in April on his 12th birthday!), Alina has been taking all kinds of pics with her new camera — but suddenly waiting til Christmas and making a big blow-out of it seems pointless.

    Anyway, where I’m going with this is that it is disturbing to me that the church hierarchy is conspiring to perpetuate this … emptiness. And twisting its clergy’s arms to participate. And that’s above and beyond the tastelessness of publishing who gave their boss money for Christmas.

    I don’t know where we’re going with this. I think that when a “celebration” becomes more stressful than joyous, it’s time to reconsider its place in your life. My favorite part of the whole season was when we took a very impromptu trip to the DFW metroplex, spent a night in a hotel, and played at the Galleria — we sat down together for meals, didn’t worry about whether our rooms were picked up neatly, indulged in Starbuck’s and La Madeleine’s, and ordered pay per view. Next year I think that’s what I want for my present — 48 hours with my family with everybody laughing and relaxed. I think that’s what people once may have gotten out of the big blow-out celebration — but I had to endure the blow-out to get the blessing after the 25th had passed!

    OK, granted, I’m ranting and only marginally about what your post was actually about.

  5. Well, you know my views on this as we discussed them after the Christmas party. Maybe we should start a gift for all the pastors making equitable comp!

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