Someone recently asked me if I was going to continue “Clergy Clatter” after I retired from Epiphany. Sadly, my answer was “No.” I say sadly because it has been sort of a journal of my life with you for 30 plus years. You have been very much a part of it with me. Anyone around me knows that I am constantly looking for material and strange little events that might turn into an interesting or amusing article. Very little has escaped my watchful eye when it comes to “Clergy Clatter.”
Like most things in life, not everyone has found it to his/her liking. I’ve had clergy criticize it for not being “religious” enough. O come on! Life is religious, and “living life” has been one of its themes. From time to time, one has discovered that I have not been hesitant to take “poetic license” with a story or event. I plead guilty to that. When I was a kid, my mother often accused me of being the worst exaggerator in the world. I think I enjoyed adding interest to the mundane as a child. “Clergy Clatter” allowed me to continue that pleasure. But for the occasional criticism I received, I enjoyed a lot of compliments. Back when we used to mail printed copies of the newsletter, folks would tell me that they would look forward to the mail and go straight to “Clergy Clatter.” I always took that as a compliment.
I will miss the discipline of sitting down once a month and forcing myself to meet a deadline. I’m one of those people who produce under pressure. It was almost always the last thing to be turned in to the Parish Clerk for inclusion. Since it was usually the lead article in the newsletter, it meant that formatting the newsletter was on hold until Clergy Clatter was inserted. Then there was a mad scramble to get the layout organized and sent to the copier.
“Clergy Clatter” has been a strange little way to communicate. It was intended to share who we are and what is going on in our lives. When Delores Grimstead was putting the book together, she pointed out that it also told the history of what was going on in the world and how we were reacting to our own history. I thought that was neat. And don’t forget that there are still some copies of the book available. See Tina Wright for a copy.
Well, this is my last “Clergy Clatter.” I will continue to write something, somewhere, but it will be different. By the way, you have some wonderful writers in the congregation. There’s no reason that folks can’t take turns writing for the parish. Don’t worry about being religious. If it’s about life, it’s religious.
June 29, 2023
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A compilation of The Rev. Richard O. Bridgford’s most memorable articles from his nearly 25 years at Church of the Epiphany. Enjoy history, humor, nature, travel, and wacky experiences with Fr. Bridgford, his two-legged and four-legged friends! Recall:
- the New Year’s resolutions he couldn’t keep
- the year Santa’s elf delivered Baby Jesus to the creche
- the volcano that threatened his vacation
- sweet elderly widows and “a little afternoon sherry”
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