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What Should I Do?


kclark
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A few weeks ago I posted my extimony "Journey of A Black Gay Atheist,"where I mentioned that while I admitted my disbelief to myself in the last few months, I'm torn about how to leave the church I play music for. In my head I've come up with two choices:

 

1) I have a part-time job that I work at every Sunday morning except the Sunday that I play for the church. I've thought about telling them that the job is requiring me to work every Sunday starting in December or January, so I won't be able to play for them anymore. I figure this would give them a little time to find a replacement.

 

2) I could ask the pastor if I could talk to him in private after a Sunday service and explain that I no longer believe, and so I don't feel that I should play for their church anymore.

 

Option #1 helps me slink out with minimal collateral damage, but makes me feel like a coward and a liar(the latter I would be since my job most likely won't require that--it's the South and I live in small town, so employers usually work around church stuff). Also it would seem so abrupt, because I've been playing there for years. Option #2 is obviously the more honest choice, but honestly I really don't want to have the uncomfortable conversation, deal the shock, judgement and potential anger of the pastor. I say anger because years of an almost empty choir stand, the choir is growing, so that adds a whole other layer of guilt for me, and I really don't want that reflected back to me in his reaction.

 

So what do you guys think? Let me know.

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A few weeks ago I posted my extimony "Journey of A Black Gay Atheist,"where I mentioned that while I admitted my disbelief to myself in the last few months, I'm torn about how to leave the church I play music for. In my head I've come up with two choices:

 

1) I have a part-time job that I work at every Sunday morning except the Sunday that I play for the church. I've thought about telling them that the job is requiring me to work every Sunday starting in December or January, so I won't be able to play for them anymore. I figure this would give them a little time to find a replacement.

 

2) I could ask the pastor if I could talk to him in private after a Sunday service and explain that I no longer believe, and so I don't feel that I should play for their church anymore.

 

Option #1 helps me slink out with minimal collateral damage, but makes me feel like a coward and a liar(the latter I would be since my job most likely won't require that--it's the South and I live in small town, so employers usually work around church stuff). Also it would seem so abrupt, because I've been playing there for years. Option #2 is obviously the more honest choice, but honestly I really don't want to have the uncomfortable conversation, deal the shock, judgement and potential anger of the pastor. I say anger because years of an almost empty choir stand, the choir is growing, so that adds a whole other layer of guilt for me, and I really don't want that reflected back to me in his reaction.

 

So what do you guys think? Let me know.

 

kclark, it is so wonderful how you have been so dedicated to this church and music ministry. I understand the sour pickle you are in. I had to 'step down' from a real cool music ministry. I also am a guilty type of person. I really felt that I 'owed' the church. It is so hard for us to remember that we are not responsible for other people's happiness.The first thing I did was to write the pastor a letter.

 

http://www.ex-christ...r-to-my-pastor/

 

Then, by the time he got it - he just never even responded to me?? No phone call - nothing. Actually, looking back - he made it very easy on me.

 

What about trying to write a truthful letter first? Would that work? :shrug: Best of everything to you my friend.

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A few weeks ago I posted my extimony "Journey of A Black Gay Atheist,"where I mentioned that while I admitted my disbelief to myself in the last few months, I'm torn about how to leave the church I play music for. In my head I've come up with two choices:

 

1) I have a part-time job that I work at every Sunday morning except the Sunday that I play for the church. I've thought about telling them that the job is requiring me to work every Sunday starting in December or January, so I won't be able to play for them anymore. I figure this would give them a little time to find a replacement.

 

2) I could ask the pastor if I could talk to him in private after a Sunday service and explain that I no longer believe, and so I don't feel that I should play for their church anymore.

 

Option #1 helps me slink out with minimal collateral damage, but makes me feel like a coward and a liar(the latter I would be since my job most likely won't require that--it's the South and I live in small town, so employers usually work around church stuff). Also it would seem so abrupt, because I've been playing there for years. Option #2 is obviously the more honest choice, but honestly I really don't want to have the uncomfortable conversation, deal the shock, judgement and potential anger of the pastor. I say anger because years of an almost empty choir stand, the choir is growing, so that adds a whole other layer of guilt for me, and I really don't want that reflected back to me in his reaction.

 

So what do you guys think? Let me know.

 

kclark, it is so wonderful how you have been so dedicated to this church and music ministry. I understand the sour pickle you are in. I had to 'step down' from a real cool music ministry. I also am a guilty type of person. I really felt that I 'owed' the church. It is so hard for us to remember that we are not responsible for other people's happiness.The first thing I did was to write the pastor a letter.

 

http://www.ex-christ...r-to-my-pastor/

 

Then, by the time he got it - he just never even responded to me?? No phone call - nothing. Actually, looking back - he made it very easy on me.

 

What about trying to write a truthful letter first? Would that work? :shrug: Best of everything to you my friend.

 

Margee,

 

Thanks for replying to one of my topic posts(the computer messed up when I hit post for some reason:). The letter was beautiful and heartfelt, and it's obvious that you were close to your pastor. In my situation however, the church I play isn't my 'home' church (i.e. I was hired there specifically to be a musician) and haven't gotten as close to him over the years (I actually work more closely with his wife, the choir director) as you did with your pastor. I don't even know his e-mail/mailing address to write him a letter. Which in a way is what makes this so hard, because we've never really had long, in-depth conversations about the Bible, probably because I'm not a regular member and because I was a teenager (16) at the time I began playing for them. So in my head it feels weird and kind of messed up thing to do (even though deep down I know it's not; like you said, we're not responsible for other people's happiness), like I'm dropping a big bomb on him.

 

But I'll definitely think the letter concept over.

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First, it's always easier to solve another person's problems than my own. I suppose the reason is that I don't have to live with the feelings of guilt and fear and whatever else the other party can inflict on one. But what about just handing in your resignation saying I'll be playing for you till Christmas and then you'll have to find someone else for the New Year. No explanation. No excuse.

 

If one is demanded, repeat that this is your decision. You've been doing this for X number of years and it's time to move on. Stick to your guns and then move on. Relaxing on a Sunday morning--sleeping in--so you're good for another work-week is moving on, right? No excuses, no explanations.

 

But of course, the Southern culture is something else. I'm from the so-called north--Canada, to be precise.

 

Best of luck, my friend.

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I have spent most of my life as a people pleaser and I have a strong aversion to conflict. So, my first reaction to your post was to say go with the lie! However, in spite of my desire to avoid all conflict, I was truthful when I decided that I did not believe in god and that I could not continue to attend church. It was especially difficult to break the news to my mother, but I did and I could not believe the overwhelming sense of relief that I felt.

 

As difficult as you may find it, I suggest telling the truth and putting it behind you. I thought Margee’s idea of a letter was a good one and you could always just mail it to the church. However, I also think that R.S. Martin has an excellent suggestion. Turn in your resignation and keep your reasons to yourself. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

 

Whichever way you go, I wish you the best of luck! And, since I haven’t said it before, welcome to the site!

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I have spent most of my life as a people pleaser and I have a strong aversion to conflict. So, my first reaction to your post was to say go with the lie! However, in spite of my desire to avoid all conflict, I was truthful when I decided that I did not believe in god and that I could not continue to attend church. It was especially difficult to break the news to my mother, but I did and I could not believe the overwhelming sense of relief that I felt.

 

As difficult as you may find it, I suggest telling the truth and putting it behind you. I thought Margee’s idea of a letter was a good one and you could always just mail it to the church. However, I also think that R.S. Martin has an excellent suggestion. Turn in your resignation and keep your reasons to yourself. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

 

Whichever way you go, I wish you the best of luck! And, since I haven’t said it before, welcome to the site!

 

I've spent most of my life as a people pleaser as well, and try to avoid conflict (unless the other party is being completely disrespectful). I don't want to keep bringing up living in the South and the small town, but it's part of what makes this so scary. I know that when I tell him my reputation as a church musician will shit in my town (sorry for the vulgarity but it's true). Pastors talk. That shouldn't matter obviously since I'm chucking the deuce to the church in general, but I know word could trickle to my immediate and extended family, all of whom attend church, including an uncle and an aunt who are ministers. Also, he's kind of big, tall guy. He's nice but still has an imposing presence, and I'm worried he'll try to charm me back into playing. He can be very persuasive.

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A few weeks ago I posted my extimony "Journey of A Black Gay Atheist,"where I mentioned that while I admitted my disbelief to myself in the last few months, I'm torn about how to leave the church I play music for. In my head I've come up with two choices:

 

1) I have a part-time job that I work at every Sunday morning except the Sunday that I play for the church. I've thought about telling them that the job is requiring me to work every Sunday starting in December or January, so I won't be able to play for them anymore. I figure this would give them a little time to find a replacement.

 

2) I could ask the pastor if I could talk to him in private after a Sunday service and explain that I no longer believe, and so I don't feel that I should play for their church anymore.

 

Option #1 helps me slink out with minimal collateral damage, but makes me feel like a coward and a liar(the latter I would be since my job most likely won't require that--it's the South and I live in small town, so employers usually work around church stuff). Also it would seem so abrupt, because I've been playing there for years. Option #2 is obviously the more honest choice, but honestly I really don't want to have the uncomfortable conversation, deal the shock, judgement and potential anger of the pastor. I say anger because years of an almost empty choir stand, the choir is growing, so that adds a whole other layer of guilt for me, and I really don't want that reflected back to me in his reaction.

 

So what do you guys think? Let me know.

 

 

 

I like RS Martin's idea. Then nobody know's you're an atheist. Then again it makes people wonder. But you certainly have more than 2 or 3 options. Brainstorm. Lies are as good as truth in this case as long as it minimizes conflict. Maybe 'god' has called you away from the xian music business to do something completely different. Or maybe you are just 'SICK' of playing that guitar or singing or whatever it is you do. Be creative in your reasoning. Also consider that while it IS a deep concern for YOU, other people may not care that much. This isn't an insult either. I have worried about what some people might think of my true inner self in the past only to find out that nobody is watching and nobody cares that much about others. They are usually obsessing more about their own problems.

 

Regarding the abruptness...how long would you like to continue faking it? Perhaps the quick onset of a neurological problem is interfering with your playing of the instrument. Maybe agoraphobia has taken over and you can barely function at work, let alone go to church with lots of people in it. Maybe 'god' is telling you that you need to promote "Bob" to your spot immediately because 'god' has NEW THINGS in store for you. You don't know what it is yet , but you feel LED by the holy spirit! God is telling you that you need a break before he reveals the next part of his plan for your life! They dont have to know that the next part is atheism. :)

 

Just some ideas. And hey, if you put a religious spin on it then you could even have the backing of all the believers in your life.

 

 

 

 

Good luck.

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I have spent most of my life as a people pleaser and I have a strong aversion to conflict. So, my first reaction to your post was to say go with the lie! However, in spite of my desire to avoid all conflict, I was truthful when I decided that I did not believe in god and that I could not continue to attend church. It was especially difficult to break the news to my mother, but I did and I could not believe the overwhelming sense of relief that I felt.

 

As difficult as you may find it, I suggest telling the truth and putting it behind you. I thought Margee’s idea of a letter was a good one and you could always just mail it to the church. However, I also think that R.S. Martin has an excellent suggestion. Turn in your resignation and keep your reasons to yourself. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

 

Whichever way you go, I wish you the best of luck! And, since I haven’t said it before, welcome to the site!

 

I've spent most of my life as a people pleaser as well, and try to avoid conflict (unless the other party is being completely disrespectful). I don't want to keep bringing up living in the South and the small town, but it's part of what makes this so scary. I know that when I tell him my reputation as a church musician will shit in my town (sorry for the vulgarity but it's true). Pastors talk. That shouldn't matter obviously since I'm chucking the deuce to the church in general, but I know word could trickle to my immediate and extended family, all of whom attend church, including an uncle and an aunt who are ministers. Also, he's kind of big, tall guy. He's nice but still has an imposing presence, and I'm worried he'll try to charm me back into playing. He can be very persuasive.

 

K, when word started to get around about me, I just softly told them that I was 'sort of in a dark night of the soul'' and was confused. I actually would stand there and ask them to continue to pray for me. (I sort of meant that) Anyway, they seems almost to take pity on me??? Try that tactic??

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