- 2 months ago
This is a bit of a rant / request for sympathy if deserved lol and advice. Finding someone to marry us has been an awkward, embarassing, offensive process. I wanted a Pastor as I am Christian since birth and my family are also very religious. But the process has been far from what I envisiaged it would be a happy occassion. Family/friends told me how they found their Pastor – mainly they just approached a favourite one at their church, asked them to do the ceremony, invited him to the wedding as well and made a donation at the end.
NOT SO SIMPLE IN THIS CASE!
Fi and I have been attending a church down the lane since it opened Easter 2017 (it is a 2nd branch of a succesful church in another part of our city). We try to attend at least once every 2-3 weeks on a Sunday and always give a small donation at collection time. But I will admit neither of us are involved in volunteering or appear/talk like religious people. We don’t stick around after the service to chat to the rest of the congregation, because we are shy people and Fiance often has to go visit his parents or work his 2nd job straight after. So i would say overall we are passive attendees.
In August 2017, when we were in the process of deciding wedding venues/times, I contacted the church about whether we could have a pastor to marry us. I was put in touch with the Pastor’s assistant. She said yes it could probably be arranged and that we should talk to X pastor after church at one of the meet & greets the next Sunday. She also set up a private chat group in Facebook between us and the Pastor introducing us and with those instructions. He never said anything in the chat group (even though he is very active on the churchs social media). Still we thought he would have know about this meeting..but when we went to see him he looked very busy, running around/organising things, so we decided that now might not be the best time. I told the assistant about this, she agreed it had been busy and took my number and promised the Pastor would call us back…Never happened.
We waited till October 2017 to hear from Pastor X and then decided that maybe he wasn’t interested, so tried approaching another Pastor at the church directly. He is the head honcho, but the only other one could do weddings. We approached him right at the end of the service – my mum and dad were with us so we went as a family, introduced ourselves and explained the situation. We told him that we had booked the wedding venues and times for a Sunday and he sounded positive about it but that we would need to go through a “process” to confirm everything involved counselling and forms. We were told to contact the assistant to help us through that.
So back to the assistant we went…she gave us the forms, we submitted it in November 2017. As soon as she gets it she sees it is a Sunday and apologises..She says the Pastors can’t do a Sunday. I was like what! But the Pastor hadn’t said it would be a problem. My mother understood their reasoning, but hoped that they might do a favour for us and find a Pastor..any Pastor… since we are regular attendees and in her opinion, need to become more connected with the church and have “our Pastors” marry us (told you my family was religious!). I was pretty angry about the next part. My mother contacted the church and told them all this negative stuff about my partner and I to illustrate how much we “needed our Pastor” to be there to marry us. For example, she told them how we are so shy …that marrying us would be a good opportunity for us to get to know the pastor and vice versa..and otherwise it may never happen.
I gave up and left the issue. Went to the church a few days later on a weekday when no one is arround to collect something I had left behind. The orignal Pastor by chance, was there, alone. He lets me in, says he knows who I am and starts chatting with me. He says he knew who I and my Fiance were, had spoken with my mother (sigh!) and he “would love to help us out” even though they dont normally do Sundays. But he also wanted us to think about getting more involved in the church in particular volutneering to help during the services.
I told him sure, I am happy to especially as Im not working atm. He said my partner should do it too. I explained that he works 2 jobs and probably doesn’t have the time, but the Pastor seemed very keen that he get involved too. He gave me his card and said to contact him in the New Year to set up coffee with him and his wife so we could all get to know each other, identify how we can serve in the church and talk about the wedding stuff. I knew it would be hard to get my Fiance to volunteer, but was thrilled that it was all sorted now! I actually cried tears of joy/relief in front of the Pastor lol! I know it sounds crazy but it had been so hard to get to this point.
8 January 2018 I text the Pastor on a Monday morning wishing him Happy New Year and asking if he is still up for that coffee. He says that will be great but that he is busy this week and will get back to me – maybe next week. I wait another 1.5 weeks and sent him another text to follow up. Not going to lie, i was frustrated by this point. Why was he making this so hard? I know Pastor’s are people too – but isn’t his job to do this kind of stuff and be reliable? My feelings ended up showing in the text I sent..I sent it beofre I had even realised how bad it sounded. My text said “Hi Pastor X, just following up with you about that catchup! Do you have any open slots yet haha?” My mother and Fiance later told me this sounded sarcastic/facetious.
Now it’s been four days and no response from the Pastor. I know he is alive and kicking because he is posting on the Church Social Media every day and so on. I really want to move on and find someone else but my family INSISTS that we keep trying with Pastor X. They say the Pastor is just busy, I shouldn’t be so demanding and should be more patient. But honestly, its been months on end and we haven’t made any progress with them. I feel hurt and shunned. especially when the Pastor said at church last week “how wonderful it was, all the couples getting married this year within our church!.” Fiance was like “Does he ignore them too?” Now we just want a celebrant. At least you pay them and so they act professionally.