Layperson Told to Leave Church Because He Helps Too Much

Last month, Transient and Permanent featured a post on guidelines that tell moving or retiring ministers to stay away from their former congregations.  An interesting comment turned up in that thread yesterday by a layperson who was asked to leave his Unitarian-Universalist congregation because he was doing too much around the church in the wake of a ministerial meltdown, and it was feared that this would inhibit a smooth settlement for the next minister.  Interestingly, it wasn’t anyone from the congregation who forced the layperson out, but the district representative and the interim minister.  Now, we can’t pretend to have all the details or sides of this situation, but it is a clear fact that this was a hurtful thing for the active layperson in question.  How widespread is this phenomenon?  Surely it isn’t too common, but there may be other stories like this one out there that can serve as cautionary tales.



Filed under Unitarian-Universalism

3 responses to “Layperson Told to Leave Church Because He Helps Too Much

  1. ogre

    /puts on polity geek hat

    Say WHAT?

    (rips hat off and begins jumping up and down on it)

    Some district rep and an interim minister (a minister) ask a MEMBER of the congregation to leave… to facilitate that ease of settlement for a new minister?

    I deeply hope there’s a hell of a lot more to that story, because on the face of it, that not only seems like so many kinds of wrong, it seems like a grotesque intrusion on congregational polity. If the interim felt that there was reason, then it ought to have been taken up with the board.

    There’s got to be more to this tale.

    /removes hat

  2. Anonymous

    Yeah, there was a heck of a lot more to the story. But I really can’t post more about it without making it obvious to some readers just which failed ministry I’m talking about. And the minister in question suffered more than enough.

    If it helps your policy hat, though, the congregational president did know about this move beforehand, and didn’t act to stop it.

  3. Chalicechick

    Hey Anonymous,

    You sound like you know that not posting more information makes people skeptical of what you’re saying and I really respect the stand you’re taking in not saying more and protecting the privacy of those involved, especially those who wronged you.

    While I myself am not especially skilled at the ancient and long-lost art of keeping my yap shut, it’s a quality that I certainly can appreciate in other people.


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