I've been unemployed since my last interim ended in November. That’s easily the longest period I have been unemployed since I began pastoral ministry. During November, one of the Ruling Elders asked if I was afraid. I answered by saying no, knowing part of what was in store for me. Employment, you see, was the least of my worries.
I didn't want the congregation to worry about it, but my wife, Joan, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through three trips to, and two operations at the Mayo Clinic. After that she began chemotherapy every two weeks at Resurrection Hospital, here in Chicago. Right now she’s in the middle of weekly chemo, which will be followed by radiation five days a week.
During the surgeries and the weekly chemo there was no way I could have gone back to work. At the moment she’s becoming more independent, although I’m still the transporter for our son David. I can't say when I’ll return to work, part of that of course is the lack of availability of interim pastor positions. But much of it depends on Joan.
I can’t say I enjoy being unemployed. But according to the Rule I am doing exactly what I should be doing. And, more importantly to me, my love for her makes me put her welfare first.
If, by the way, you're on a search committee who's reading this, don’t let this be the deciding factor. Please ask first. I’ll let you know if I can take your position.
Brother Oscar Romero