Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You might leave ministry, but you never really leave ministry

Today, I was picking up some gluten-free stuff at Sprouts, a gentleman approached me and said "You must be Bull." I didn't recognize him but he pointed out that he used to be a parishioner at St. John's, where I was the Youth Minister. Just in case anyone is keeping track, that was almost TEN YEARS AGO. Did I mention that I've grown a goatee and long shaggy hair since then? After exchanging pleasantries and names and current situations, he mentions that he had seen me somewhere else but hadn't come up to greet me then, and that essentially he was looking for me since then, that he had an eye out for me. I was last a YM ten years next month. And I was only there for two years. I don't think I set the world on fire in that time. In fact, I was forced out because some of the staff didn't think I was doing my job well enough, and they probably had a valid point.
But ten years later, a parishioner still recognized me in a grocery store. And remembered my name. And was still interested in my life. I'm not sure if he was a parent of one of the youth there, or in K of C, or just a man in the pew.
You never really do leave. And for some reason, I'm OK with that.

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