Brant S. Copeland
Brant S. Copeland is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida.
My Dad was a pastor. He began his ministry in the early 50’s, when mainline churches were growing like weeds and a clerical collar would elicit a discount at the local department store and a complementary membership in the country club. Not so for my son, who has also worked a pastor. He paid full price for his coffee at Starbucks, where he led discussions with Millennials who wouldn’t dream of darkening the door of his grandfather’s church.
If Moses is any example, the pastor’s yoke was never light. He wasn’t very far into his 40-year pastorate when he learned that his flock did not feel called to provide him with constant affirmation.
Proverbs 31 used to be a standard at funerals. That was before we realized that womanly virtue meant more than giving a husband bragging rites in the city gates. I use to think it my pastoral duty to root out both masculine and feminine stereotypes in liturgy, hymnody and scripture. Now I’m not so sure.