Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pastors Go Part Time As Way To Help Financially Struggling Churches

From New York-

One pulpit, shared by two part-time ministers who happen to be married.

The temporary arrangement has been the answer to a prayer for Christ Episcopal Church, whose members had been searching for a part-time priest to lead them spiritually without strapping them financially.

For the Revs. Randall Balmer and Catharine Randall, whose careers as college professors, writers and public speakers keep them plenty busy, the arrangement with this small but devoted congregation satisfies a spiritual need the couple have longed to fill.

"What is so great about it is immediately, they understood that we were a team ... working together," said Balmer, a prize-winning historian who has written a dozen books on faith and religion and is professor of American religious history at Barnard College in New York City and a visiting professor at Dartmouth College. "I love being a professor and a priest. For me, one informs the other."

"It's wonderful; I'm so happy," said Catharine Randall, a professor of French at Fordham University in New York and the author of eight scholarly books and several articles and publications related to religion and spirituality. "I love doing this with Randy. I think it works well. We are very much in love with each other, and we are very compatible and very in tune with what each other is thinking."

Even their lengthy commutes — between their home in Woodbury, university teaching jobs in New York and New Hampshire, and the church in East Hampton — don't get in way of their commitment.

More here-

No comments: