Â This week, I put on my clergy uniform (the collar)Â and stoppedÂ by a coupleÂ businesses to introduce myself and find out what exactly they do. We rent worship/event space in the Historic Pilney Building. The rest of the week the space is available for all your event space needs. The W7 Arts Collective use it regularly. (They were also just voted best place to buy local art by Minnesota Monthly.)
Connected to the Pilney is another business, The Command Center. (My first stop). This is basically an old-fashioned day labor service. Need to make some money? Show up stinkin' early with two forms of ID. Wages are based on a number of factors--including how great the risk of physical harm might be. Huh. Across the street from us is Hot City Pizza. We are well aware of one another (because we are good eaters and tippers). Next to Hot City is an apartment building that also houses 1000 Friends of MN. 1000 Friends helps bring green ideas to city planning. "They help MN grow without wrecking the place."
I squeezed these stops in between text study and a clergy meeting. When I showed up at the meeting with my clerical collar on, my colleagues appropriately made fun of me. "Whoa, that's not the way you usually dress." Ohhhh, pastor humor.
I wish I would have been wearing that uncomfortable clerical yesterday. Two carloads of Jehovah Witnesses swarmed all over our block. One neighbor could see me talking to them and called (from the safe confines ofÂ aÂ locked door--wondering what we were saying to these nice but pushy folks.)Â I'm not going to lie, I went right for the clergy card. "Oh, thank you, but I am a pastor." They heard, "wah wah wah,"Â and kept going on about how my happy I'll be when I see my dead father in the next life. "As it turns out, I actuallyÂ am a pastor a congregation.Â Yes,Â I haveÂ read those verses." They heard, "wah, wah, wah." Finally, I said, "Look, I am a dead-end recruit. 4.5 years inÂ seminary education...etc."Â To which they replied,Â "Your education is not going to save you."
Here's what IÂ have decided. The next time they show up (they are here so often that I can now recognize the cars), I am going to ask for their physical addresses. Then, you all are going with me and we will show up and knock on their doors. We'll bring cookies and rakes and see if they need anything done around the house.