I sent Mac an e-mail tonight that displayed evidence of my semi-Choleric personality. I told him that I wanted to beat him with my bare hands.
Why do I want to beat my pastor with my bare hands? It's partially my fault.
About a week ago, I sent an e-mail to Matt (Finance chair), offering some of my opinions about how to help the financial situation, especially in the area of analysis and strategy. He suggested we meet, and we decided on tonight, before another meeting we had.
I called Mac today to a) let him know what we were planning and b) give him the opportunity to say, "no, please don't" (if he had said that, I would have simply told Matt that something came up and cancelled the meeting). He gave me his blessing, I promised that I would tell him what we talked about, and that was that.
I went into this meeting with Matt optimistic that we could have a nice brainstorming session about ways to make BTUMC more financially solvent and a better place overall. I thought I might experience an attempt at triangulation, but figured we could move beyond it and focus on the main issue.
I was wrong.
If it weren't for my five units of CPE and several previous conversations with Mac, I could very easily have been triangulated and wound up joining the "side" of Matt, Ruth (Church Council Chair) and Carrie (Staff-Parish Chair). As it was, I left feeling empathy for Matt (who really is in a tough position), feeling frustrated/angry at Mac (who I think knew exactly what I was walking into), and also feeling empathy for Mac, because this situation is so very, very similar to what I experienced at SJ.
Mac didn't make it to the Endowment meeting, and tomorrow is his day off. That's good for him, because it will give me 24 hours to think and pray and reflect. However, I plan on calling him first thing on Friday morning. I won't violate anything that Matt told me in confidence, but I need to speak with Mac about some of the questions that were raised in our conversation. And confirm that he did, indeed, have a good idea what was going to happen during my meeting with Matt.
The sad things is...and the thing that perplexes me so much about human nature and about the church...is that I do believe that Matt, Ruth, and Carrie have no clue what they're really doing. Matt didn't go into our meeting consciously saying "I am going to get Patti onto our side"...in fact, he kept saying just the opposite. He just told me that he needed someone to listen to him. And so I did. He's a good man, a brother in Christ, and really does seem to have good intentions. However, at the same time, his actions are hurting and compromising the ministry of another good man, another brother in Christ, and my fellow clergy person. On the other hand, Mac isn't perfect either, and isn't without blame.
My question is, where do I go from here? I'm too far "in" to be 100% neutral...but I don't want to give myself a savior mentality and think that I can "fix" everything. I can't.
However, part of what I'm going to discern over the next 24 hours (and probably the next few days) is what God is calling me to do...and whether or not my sense that I have "peacemaking" gifts is true, and if so, how I can use them in this situation.
Prayers would be appreciated. I'll take any advice you want to give me, too.