“I Knew I Recognized Your Name”

Today at my “day job” with AAA, a man came in for passport photos and I told him I would be right with him and just to hang on for a few minutes.  I really wanted to wait on him because he had on a clerical collar and it was obvious to me that he had a wife, so I knew there was a good chance that he was an Episcopal priest.  Since I didn’t recognize him, I was very curious.  When it was his turn in front of the camera, I asked “innocently” what kind of priest he is and I was right.  “An Episcopalian,” he said.

I told him “So was I,” and we introduced ourselves, shook hands, and he said, “I knew I recognized your name.”  He had that “I’ve heard – you poor thing” look on his face so I knew he really had heard about me and my 2 unfortunate parish experiences.  I found out that he was a trained “interim” (a “specialty priest” who fills in for a parish in the interim between clergy and he had been in the Diocese for several years.

Since I have been seriously “out of touch” with the Diocese, I had not heard of him but by the time he and his wife and left the office with their new passport photos, we were “buds” and they promised to check out my blog and “sign up.”  He and his wife were very gracious and supportive and wanted to know “what happened” – then they commiserated and made all the right noises until I had to get back to work.

It was great to meet new clergy and his wife and I realized how much I miss my clergy friends, especially those I don’t see very often any more since I can’t attend all those mid-day-mid-week clergy events now that I’m a “worker priest.”  I was reminded for the umpteenth time how much I detest being a “worker-priest.”  (That’s a priest who also has a secular job.)  In fact my being a worker priest ranks so high on the “detest-a-meter” for me that it’s really off the scale.

So, I’m writing and writing and writing some more – and I’m posting on this blog hoping to build up my online community that is some day going to free me from worker-priest-prison.  My book is almost ready for buying and distributing  as I am in the hunt for a publisher.  Anybody with a tip (no self-publishing – I’ve decided to go the traditional route) for a publisher who would accept an unsolicited manuscript – send it on!!

Well, I guess I’d better get used to people saying, “I knew I recognized your name,” although my years in the “woman-priest” spotlight made it a daily occurrence for a long time.  Now I hope it will be more like “I knew I’d seen your name on a book at Borders”!!

About ladyfr

An ordained Episcopal priest for 20+ years, I am now semi-retired with a rather small pension so I do services at a tiny little church in the country, work full-time for AAA as an Auto Travel Counselor where I get to take people's money (open and renew accounts) and tell them where to go (help them route trips), and do free-lance writing and other virtual jobs on the internet. I have one son, Scott, who is married to Stacey, and 2 adorable grandchildren, Jared and Emily. They are all the center of my life and I spend as much time with them as all of the above activities will allow. I am currently writing an eBook about my experiences in the ordination process of the church and the places I served. It has been a mixed bag of great fulfillment and joy as well as frustration and pain. It's due out in several months. Closing in on the magic Social Security retirement age, I will soon be able to quit working for AAA or anybody where I have to punch a clock and work completely from home, doing what I love - writing and helping others with their work or their issues.
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