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A Home of Her Own

Yip – pee.

Oh, the joys of homeownership.

At least I live in a condominium, which means instead of stressing over roof repairs all by myself, I can call the front office, tell them of my newly acquired in-home water feature, then stress until it gets fixed. I became a home owner about a year ago, when I accepted a new call. My accountant, my parents, and my own common sense told me that I could afford to buy.

I would appreciate the break on the irrationally high clergy income tax, and I would not end up like many of the clergy I knew who were retiring in their mid-60’s with no place to live because they’d spent their life in church-owned rectories. So I did the most sensible thing a first-time home buyer could do – I came to my new city and allowed two days to buy a home. Sure, I did some research, and I did pre-qualify for a mortgage. But I decided that I’d have faith in the help of a new parishioner who, thanks be to God, was also a realtor.

Sometimes I push this faith in God a bit.  Read more

In it for the long haul

We’ve been in our home for a year now. In actuality, it’s been almost two years, but that first year, this didn’t feel like our home. We were renting. Now we own our home (or at least part of it), and I feel settled.

I am a nester. Not in the sense that I like to clean, but in the sense that I like to decorate and I don’t like to move. I love to hammer nails into the plaster. I am the one who buys the paint entitled “late tomato red.” In our last home, my husband and I embellished our upstairs with the designs of the Ndebele tribe of South Africa.

I am from the South. I feel artistically alive when I travel along Rainbow Row in Charleston, the French Quarter in New Orleans, and the Mexican color of East Austin, and I want my home to reflect that vibrancy. I despise the white walls and beige carpet of rental property (For this reason alone, I could never be Methodist. The denomination would surely defrock me after they saw what I had done to the parsonage).

Our house does, in fact, still have the walls of an institution, except for the kitchen, which is a magnificent pumpkin. I’ve picked out the colors for the rest of the house, which I plan to transform, bit by bit. I’ve got time. We’re not going anywhere soon; at least we’re not planning on it. I am an AP, and the average life span of Associates is only two to three years, but I hope to beat the odds because I love the church so much.

Ed White’s research demonstrates that long-term pastorates create healthier congregations. I would suggest that a pastor’s particular housing situation is a key factor in how long the pastor can stay. Read more