Geraldine, Jeremiah and the comedy of congregational transformation (or, The Vicar of Dibley shouldn’t make me cry and is the phrase “spiritual PTSD” hyperbolic?)
[warning–this post is transparent but not peppy; I’m hoping it resonates with other pastors who struggle in the midst of transformation efforts, but I’m happy to hear from people who’ve had much more warm and fuzzy experiences. 🙂 ]
I remember watching and loving The Vicar of Dibley when I first discovered it in college. I suspect part of what I loved was that a plus-sized, irreverent woman was treading the same path on which I planned to embark. Also, Dawn French is a comic genius. How could you not fall in love with a woman who hangs 12 chocolate filled Advent calendars in the parsonage so she gets to eat 12 chocolates for every day in December leading up to Christmas? (The episode where the vicar goes to four Christmas dinners still makes my mother laugh because that happened to me at least twice during my pastorate.)
It had been a long time since I watched those episodes and my life has undergone many changes since then, but Dawn French remains a comic genius, so I didn’t think too much about re-watching the series as background noise while I cleaned the house and packed for vacation last week.
Imagine my surprise when I broke down in tears halfway through episode one. (more…)