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His and Her’s: Advice from Bill and Sue

His and Her’s: A weekly series on “Daily Musings on Life Together”

My parents safely arrived in DC yesterday around lunch and we immediately set about sharing with them the city we love.  We ate lunch at Shophouse, explored Kramer’s Books, and strolled around Dupont Circle until a very threatening rain cloud forced us to flee.  [smile]  After a brief tour of campus and shared worship with the seminary community, we went for dinner at our favorite Indian place– Tandori Nights in Bethesda.  By the time we dropped them off at their hotel, we all were exhausted.  I think you could safely say we made the most of their first half day together.  Can’t wait for what we’ll explore today!

At dinner, I decided to mine them for information I could share for this week’s His and Her’s post.  My dad has been a United Methodist minister for over 30 years and since Caleb will be joining the ranks in about a month, I though seeking some advice for our first appointment would be perfect.  My mom of course is very familiar with the role I’ll be filling as “the preacher’s wife.”  So I posed the question: “what is one thing you wish you could tell yourself before entering a life of ministry?”

My dad’s advice for Caleb:  Go with the flow and love the people.  He shared that when you take a new appointment you’ll inevitably encounter some  different ways of doing things… maybe it’s a Sunday School teacher who has a particular way of teaching her class or a parishioner who likes to go night fishing.  Whatever the case be willing to go with the flow, enjoy what’s happening around you, and love the people.

My mom’s advice for me:  Be yourself.  She shared that when they moved to their first appointment she felt she was still discovering a lot about who she was and sometimes encountering the “characters” in a church challenged that experience of self discovery.  Ultimately being authentically who you are is what will allow the relationships that will make your time at a place most meaningful to develop.

Great advice I think for us soon to be preacher’s family and for anyone moving into something new.  Now off to explore the city with my parents some more.

-Margaret

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