If a congregant dies while you are on vacation...

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by annsni, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    What do you do? We had a congregant's dad pass away just when we left for vacation and a few years ago, a friend and member of our church passed away. In both cases, we were on our sailboat and it is just not easy to get home quickly. So we make a call to speak to the family and continue to pray for them but we don't attempt the trip home. How about you?
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    I have never experienced that. But I would think that it would be something you would have to judge on a case by case basis. i.e. where am I, who is it that died, how soon is the funeral, etc.
     
  3. Gib

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    I know the other staff members would be able to be there for the family if I could not come home immediately. The deacons certainly would get involved. We have a bereavement team that ministers in these situations.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    We don't have other staff - I wish - but we have several retired pastors in our congregation who can do the service if they insist on a service before I can get back.

    Usually we take vacations on a cruise, so it's almost impossible to get back. I will call and see what their wishes are. Many of the people here are older and their remains are going to be shipped back up north so there will be no service in FL or they are being cremated and the time before they can be taken care of, I'll be back.

    The only people I have ever had any issue with about this are people who are barely connected with the church. They always seem more demanding. YMMV
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    We cruise as well, for my wife's sake (no phone/communication with her clinic) and mine. We have other pastors in the town who could fill in if the family desired the service before we could be reached or return.

    Aside: We did have an attempted church "coup" while I was on a 12-day backpacking trip with church teens. School head tried to get families together to take over as pastor. Deacons met, talked with him, fired him on the spot. When we got back to our cars (parked at a trail head) there was a note on the windshield from the highway patrol to "call home". Then I found out.

    But the men had "stepped to the plate" in my absence and God used them. I wasn't needed.
     
  6. Tom Bryant

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    You've got some great men! The first pastor I worked for (with) got into the same kindof situation. I told him that he needed to stand up to thie deacon. He said, "Never defend yourself in situations like this. Your friends dont need it and your enemies won't believe it. Let God and the other leaders take care of it."

    It worked out but I thot it more from the guy being an idiot. But as I've matured more in ministry, i have learned the hard way that it's true.
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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    Other staff members. Other pastors.
     
  8. sag38

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    It's never happened to me but I have had people going into emergency surgery of have major surgery scheduled while I am away. That's one reason we have deacons. They can be there for the family. I've taken some criticism for not changing my plans but it's funny because when I was in the hospital I never received a phone call, a visit...not nothing from those same people. When my father in law died for some reason we never heard from them. Nor do I see them there for others when others are in the hospital or have lost a loved one. The ones who usually complain about such things generally tend to be leeches in the church. They suck all the life out of the pastor and the congregation and never give anything back in return.
     

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