Monday, June 15, 2015

Frederica Mathewes-Greene on Orthodoxy, and being a clergy wife

I admire Frederica Mathewes-Greene and the way she has been able to communicate the truth and beauty of Orthodoxy to those of us in the west. We especially have a lot to learn from the East about atonement and resurrection. However, there may come a day when my mother's Alzheimer's Disease visits me; but as of now I am constitutionally unable to "turn my mind off." : ) Not all thinking is doubting. ISTM that while Orthodoxy does a marvelous job with Wonder, it doesn't leave much room for wondering. YMMV.

Lopez: How is life different for a pastor’s wife?

Mathewes-Green: I grew up Roman Catholic, so I never saw a pastor’s wife; it was a role I knew nothing about. When I was in seminary, though, the other seminary wives talked a lot about the tough expectations they would be facing, and the gossip and judgment clergy wives face. I was grateful that I had no experience of that, and was free to try to be a clergy wife in my own way. Over the years I have found it a joyful role, and I give all the credit to my husband. He’s a born pastor. Parishioners like him, and look up to him, and follow his leadership. I think it’s especially telling that so many of his parishioners over the years decided to become pastors themselves. So I can’t say I have suffered at all from the expectations people have of the pastor’s wife, but I think it is because I married a pastor whom congregations love. When we were preparing to enter Orthodoxy, I wondered if there were expectations for the pastor’s wife that I didn’t know about. In Orthodoxy, a priest’s wife has an honorary title (like presbytera in Greek, khouria in Arabic) and is seen as sharing in her husband’s pastoral ministry. So I worried about unknown expectations. I asked a Russian matushka if there was anything people would expect me to do in the parish, and she just couldn’t understand what I was asking. When she finally understood she said, “You just be a Christian! Just pray and be a Christian!” 

Read more at:

No comments: