Post # 16
At this point I would reach out to the church one more time via a telephone call and attempt to schedule the coffee and talk with the Pastor about officiating your wedding. If you don’t get a prompt and positive response, I would go ahead and find another officiant.
It would definitely rub me the wrong way to get little to no response after so many attempts to reach out meanwhile the pastor is posting regularly on social media. Also the pushiness about your Fiance volunteering though you explained he works 2 jobs, meanwhile they are not able to return your messages… I think you definitely have a right to feel a bit miffed. If your family is super religious, do they have a church you grew up in where you would like to get married?
Post # 17
Yes I think that’s what I will do. My parents have a church but I don’t know the pastor’s there and my parents won’t help me to find another pastor as they believe I need to use the one from my church.
I’m not even asking this Pastor to allow me to have the wedding at his church. He just needs to do the ceremony. I have booked it in a wedding venue elsewhere.
Post # 18
While I agree that the behaviour of the pastor hasn’t been the most organised, maybe he just isn’t sure how committed you are to the church at this point as you only attend 1-2x per month. However if this actually is the case he should be open and honest about that rather than being obscure. Yes you are paying him for a service, but a this is not about saying a few words and signing a piece of paper. Some pastors are strict about who they marry. The expectation could be that the couple are regular attendees (every Sunday) and committed to practicing the faith in their marriage, homes etc.
I’m not sure he’s trying to force you to volunteer in order to get something back from you, your mother did say you were shy and wanted to integrate into church more. Do you really want this to be your home church? Are you planning to attend services after you’re married? If not I’d say move on and find another church/pastor/officiant who is more flexible to your needs.
Post # 19
Ohh I see. I’m sure if things don’t work out with this pastor, you guys will be able to find another officiant who will be more personable and reliable. I don’t think you did or said anything wrong or offensive though, so don’t take the lack of response to heart! A friend of mine has been a member of her church for her whole life, but she says it still took the pastor more than a week sometimes to respond to e-mails.
Post # 20
Are you actual members of this church, or do you just sometimes go there? Doing a wedding offsite on a Sunday miggt suggest that you’re not trying to celebrate with the church community, but to use the pastor as a hired wedding vendor.
Post # 21
Just some context on my background so you know why I feel the way I do. My grandfather was a pastor. His church was so overly religious and strict (for example, one rule was women shouldn’t wear pants) that my mother left. She went back to a nondenominational church in her mid 30s, when I was 9 years old. She’s now a deacon of the church. I’ve been a regular tithing church – goer for my whole life since the age of 9. I attend every Sunday, volunteer regularly, I’m in a leadership role and I do honestly love the church.
Now, onto my opinion about your situation. Shame on this pastor and shame on the church. Weddings and funerals are what I believe to be “a service to the community.” It’s a way for the church to reach out and positively impact people in their time of need. It’s nice for pastors to receive a donation for their efforts, but performing weddings is not meant to be a money making scheme or a blackmailing tool to recruit new volunteers.
As the church, it’s our commission to love, help and value others like Christ would. Ignoring messages, missing and delaying meetings, bartering for free labor is awful behavior by the Pastor and church. Is that what Jesus would do?How nice would it have been for your church to say, “Wow, this young couple really needs a pastor. As God’s hands and feet, as His servant, we would love to help them. That would be such a blessing for this couple.”
OP – Search around for another church. There are some churches that will marry you even if you’re not a member. Just search, you have time. If it were me, I would find a new church and pastor that was a little more Christ like for my wedding and for me to attend as a permanent member. And sorry this happened to you. Not all churches and pastors are like this, I promise.
Post # 22
I’m not sure what is required to be a ‘member’ of the church. The first time you go they request you to fill in a connection card, which we signed. Ever since then we just attend the service and give a donation during collection.
Yes, you are exactly right. We are trying to treat the pastor as a hired wedding vendor. We would give him/the church a donation for their services and expect some professionalism in return. I was thinking maybe $300AUD which is normal according to my sources on the internet. We, nor the church talked money yet. I did not bring it up because I thought it was just standard practice for the couple to give a donation at the end if they could afford it.
I don’t know if they think we are poor and trying to get a handout. That really bugs me the more I think about it. My Fiance once put in a prayer request for me to find a new job and I had mentioned to the Pastor the last time we spoke that i wasn’t working and that Fiance works two jobs. Maybe he thinks we are too poor to pay. In reality we are probably more well off than the other couples are age at that church. If this is their problem, what a mistake!
Post # 23
Pastor or not, this guy is rude! I’d start looking elsewhere, honestly.
We went through a similar process with the pastor at a church I grew up in, he ended up canceling on us and we were actually a little relieved…
We took a second to step back and it turns out we knew a couple pastors in our friend circle… or relatives of our close friends etc… Just took a little thinking!
It all worked out perfectly in the end and we had a pastor who we’ve known awhile and were comfortable with marry us 🙂 good luck!
Post # 24
Thanks for sharing your thinking and the background. I am sure other churches are not like this. I think that maybe its more common to behave like this in the newish protestant churches. I can’t imagine a Lutheran or Anglican Pastor ever doing these things.
A funny story. I think maybe the money stuff is the problem (even though we were planning on a donation). I looked up one of the Pastor’s and he has a personal website of his own that advertises his officiant services! Can’t help but think if we had anonymously contacted him and said we aren’t part of the church but would like your services for the day – he would have come running to do this wedding.
Post # 25
Glad it worked out for you fellow girl. Sounds like he did you a bit of favour. It would be awesome to have someone that knows you really well officiate.
Post # 26
“So if we are donating why do we need to volunteer?“
because two hours of your time once a week are worth more to the church than the $5 you put in the collection plate once every few weeks. It takes a LOT to run a church and they will always prioritize those who help it run over those who just guve money (unless, of course, your donations are in the thousands).
It sounds like you’re expecting them to make an exception to their “No Sunday” rule without actually doing anything to earn that exception. Volunteering on a regular basis is how you get your Sunday wedding, and since it’s two of you getting married, two of you should volunteer. Having two jobs isn’t really an excuse in the pastor’s eyes; there’s probably someone there who has two jobs, raises foster kids and still volunteers every week.
Is this quid-pro-quo, or is it the church giving priority to those who demonstrate a real commitment to the church? I don’t know. Personally I don’t see a problem with a church not bending the rules to accommodate someone who isn’t attending regular services, isn’t a power donor and isn’t a regular volunteer.
Also, don’t have your mom fight your battles. You wouldn’t have your mom call your mortgage broker if you didn’t qualify for a loan, so why would you have her inserting herself in this?
Post # 27
It shouldn’t be this hard. Our minister was very accommodating and prompt to return messages and emails. Even though my husband and I were not parishioners and she has an injury that makes her forgetful.
Post # 28
In my experience the majority of pastors, priests, reverends, etc. don’t have weddings on Sunday. That truly is their busiest day of the week and most religions deem it a day of rest. As great as Sunday weddings are, you may have to start looking at other options, potentially secular options, for your officiant. I may have missed if you are having a ceremony in a church or off site, I do know Catholic priests will not marry people outside of the church. There are a lot of rules and I would suggest looking into what those are for your particular religion.
That being said, you need to get over being shy and pick up the phone to call them. I get preferring to text, however texts and emails can be ignored and are passive. With wedding planning you can’t be passive, you have to go after what you want. If you want to get married in this church, pick up the phone and call them.
My final thoughts though…this pastor is really flaky and awful at follow through. That in and of itself would cause me to consider other churches. You want a pastor who does what he says he will so everything is done by the time your wedding rolls around.
Post # 29
I agree with everyone saying that you should probably look elsewhere. There shouldn’t be this many hoops to jump through and agreements to volunteer, etc. A marriage is about pledging your love and commitment to one another before God, and should not have any contingencies attached to it like those!
Post # 30
I don’t think I would really want to be married by a pastor from that church to begin with! It doesn’t sound like they’ve been very welcoming or respectful of your time. I would want to be married by someone that felt comfortable with and supported by..
I agree with yupmarried :
‘s comments as well. Doesn’t really sound like a community I’d be falling over myself to be a part of.