When we got home, PH gave me my present, a "New Clergy Starter Kit." It is labeled as having "everything the new clergy person needs for ministry success in every setting: traditional parish, mission parish, can't-make-up-its-mind-parish, thinks it's better than the neighboring parish, no-profit, with they could make a profit, educational institution, ignorant institution. Yes, this new clergy starter kit contains all the essentials for transitioning smoothly from the cloistered academic halls of a seminary community to the harsh, competitive world of clerical work."
Wonder what is in it?
1.Hearoes for Heroes - the essential survival tool for long meetings of vestries, boards, task forces, committees, and collegial support groups. (The box contains a packet of Hearoes ear plugs.)
2. Post-it notes for when you don't really care to send the very best. Use for passing notes while Hearoes are being utilized. (Post-its that say "I couldn't give a s**t if I tried.")
3.Extra-strength relief for when the Hearoes don't work well enough. Take two and make a pastoral call in the morning. (A bottle of generic excedrin).
4. UnderArmour thinks they've got something special? These foundation garments are fire-and-brimstone proof, scorn repellant, criticism deflecting, and spilled-communion-wine resistant. As a bonus, they give your backside extra traction on those slippy metal folding chairs when the post-potluck kids program drags into its second hour and you start to fall asleep. (Contains a pair of granny pants that have been sprayed with black rubberized paint. I kid you not.)
5. Clerical collar that finally dares to tell the truth about your relationship to your vestry, board of directors and/or bishop. (A steel chain link dog collar.)
6. And last but not least, Extreme Faith: senior warden questioning your piety? Board chair doubting your evangelical fervor? Bishop skeptical of your devotion? Carry this Bible and show them you've got EXTREME FAITH. That's right. Faith that can move mountains is for wimps and liberals. Your faith is extreme. Now you've got the Bible to show it. Wave this two-pound hunk of blessing around and let them know what doubters they all are compared to you and your EXTREME FAITH. (A "contemporary English" version of the Holy Scriptures, with a picture of a kayaker running the rapids, a guy rappelling down cliff, and a snowboarder doing an X-games style grab on the cover. Sigh.)
What more could a woman ask for?