Interview Questions from Mary Beth…another meme

1) How did you become an Episcopalian? I found the Episcopal Church through the woman minister who married my husband and me. She was a UCC minister at the time, 1985. I went to her church for the wedding of a friend of mine and really liked the service. So, when we decided to get married we went to see that minister. My husband was a divorced Roman Catholic and did not want to go through the hassle of an annulment. I thought the whole annulment stuff was silly, so was happy to go to the UCC church. Anyway, over the course of 6 months of premarital counseling (she was also a social worker)she got to know us well. In the end she suggested that if we ever wanted to become members of a church we ought to consider the Episcopal Church. She had been raised in that church (and is now an Episcopal Priest having left the UCC church, actually having been wooed back to the ECUSA by the Bishop of this diocese). So, the short story is, the woman minister who married us recommended the Episcopal Church and before long we were active members…I laugh when I see that minister now, I say, “Molly, look what you did! Not only did you marry me but you brought me into the church which ultimately lead me to ordained ministry…who would have thought!” She laughs and says, “it wasn’t me, it was the Holy Spirit…” Years later I tended to her mother as she lay dying in a nursing home. This home was close to me while Molly had moved a few hours away. They called me and I was able to stay with the mother for quite awhile, until Molly came. I felt honored to return the favor, if you will.

2) What was the most important thing you learned from your refugee visitors? This family of five from Rwanda came with barely a suitcase per person, their entire life in a few bags. They were shell shocked and unable to speak the language, tired. But on their last day with us we exchanged gifts. I gave them scooters and soccer balls left over from my kids. They gave me a small hand made picture of multi-colored wheat glued to a small wood board. The bread of life. They came with nothing but they came bearing gifts of gratitude. It taught me to grateful and that the smallest thing can be a gift of joy. It was a lesson in humility – of mutual sharing and giving. They were a strong family with much to share despite the little they had. We should do as much with all that we have!

3) What book or movie has changed or shaped your life most profoundly (besides The Bible) This is a difficult question. I read a lot and I watch a lot of movies….and many good ones. A book I read a long time ago began a process of change in me: Gloria Steinhem’s “Revolution from Within”… it’s a book about finding one’s self, one’s voice. I have also been deeply shaped by Elaine Pagels “The Origin of Satan” which takes a good hard look at how Christianity has shaped the sad tendency to demonize the “other”. And I think movies like, “As Good as it Gets” and “Freedom Writers” have influenced me. One because it speaks to the desperation we feel and our inability to connect with what we want and finally our ability to realize that this is as good as it gets, and that’s ok. The other because it speaks about sticking with a passion and seeing it through.

4) What was your favorite pastime as a child? I moved a lot so my past times changed from place to place. In Salt Lake City I had an apricot tree in the back yard. I loved to climb the tree with a good book, read the book and eat fresh apricots. In Idaho I loved to run in the alfalfa fields and play in the barns. In Wisconsin I wandered the small stretch of woods and tall grasses at the edge of my backyard.

5) Where would you go for your dream vacation? Money no object. I’d tour the Cathedrals of England, go to Iona, Ireland, and Scotland. Then I’d head down through France and into Italy. I’d also like to go to Egypt and tour the pyramids.

Have fun! 🙂 Ok, this was fun!

1. If you are interested in being interviewed, leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by posting five questions for you. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

So, c’mon! Who’s in!?


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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10 Responses to Interview Questions from Mary Beth…another meme

  1. Serena says:

    Love hearing about your journey …and how you ended up Episcopalian. (I’d love to read everyone’s answer to that question. (#1))

  2. Barbara B. says:

    It was great/interesting reading your answers… and I really like Elaine Pagels!

  3. mompriest says:

    This year our adult forum will read “Beyond Belief” by Pagels. I’m looking forward to that. And I’d like to read everyone’s asnwer to why they worship in the traditon they do…

  4. Mary Beth says:

    Yea for you! Thanks for playing and thanks for adding to my reading list 🙂 I love “as good as it gets,” a classic!!!Blessings on your day.

  5. RevDrKate says:

    Loved hearing your “how you became” story…isn’t it cool how the Spirit leads us? Also your Rwanda people…such true giving. The Pagels book grabs me…another one for the list. Sigh. Ok, so I’m up for interviewing if you are!

  6. Diane says:

    this was a great interview. especially liked #1, how you became Episcopalian, and also your answers regarding the refugees.

  7. jeepers… you are a regular renaissance woman!

  8. Very cool how you came to be Episcopalian AND a pastor. Re: #3, I always looked at the book of Job as a view of God’s hanging out time with Satan. How he was willing to torment his most loyal follower in an attempt to bring Satan back to the fold.

  9. Diane says:

    just wanted to let you know that I posted a poem…in case you are interested…

  10. mompriest says:

    Oh, I must have just missed it when I stoppped by your blog last night…

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