General Etiquette > Life...in general

“Now, who could it be? Could it be ... Satan?” AKA Dealing with Church Ladies

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Poppea:
I belong to a a great church.  Like many churches a great deal of work is done by the "church ladies".  Of varying ages they are there almost every day, helping out in the office, hanging with the rector, running things.  Many are very nice people.  All are well intentioned.  Some , but by no means all, are highly invested socially with the church. 

My group of "church friends" and I aren't quite as involved in the church.  We prefer to work on discrete projects - a fundraiser for this or that, a particular event.  You could say that in terms of church volunteering we tend to "parachute" in, do our jobs and then leave the field clear.  No of us is interested in hanging out at the church office in our down time, joining the vestry or being the rectors fangirl. 

Our projects/events have tended to have very very good attendance, raised lots of money and well, are really lots more fun than the regular ones.  Its probably because my friends have all been involved in lots of other not for profit fundraisers and know what works.  N

You would think that everyone would be thrilled - but not necessarily.  A few of us have noticed that some of the "church ladies" will subtly make things more difficult for the event planner.  Deleting information from an evite.  Promising staff help and then not scheduling the staffers.  If something needs to be approved, using far more editorial control than necessary.  I'm talking about stuff similar to trying to control the table decorations at a pancake breakfast.  There is no doubt that it is deliberate.  We have all noticed it separately.

For the most part, we've figured out how to get around some of it by just emailing the rector and getting his approval for this little stuff directly.   He probably thinks we're detail obsessive.  We get that they are taking it personally when someone pops in, doubles attendance at a church event and everyone raves about how much more fun it was this year.  But, that was what we were supposed to do.

Given that none of us really wants to be more involved with this group of ladies (and they are perfectly lovely people if you aren't poaching in their territory) can anyone suggest any strategies for dealing with them?  We do not want to involve the rector because these ladies do devote a great deal of time to the church (and many are very generous donors too).  And the stuff is so petty that they would be sure to say it was just an oversight.

Frostblooded:
Actually, if this is being done deliberately, these are not very nice ladies. I would suggest speaking to a ranked spiritual advisor on what course or action to take in regards to them; this isn't a very nice thing and shouldn't be going on at all. I'm sure a pastor/whatever would like to know it is.

citadelle:

--- Quote from: Frostblooded on March 28, 2013, 07:36:06 PM ---Actually, if this is being done deliberately, these are not very nice ladies. I would suggest speaking to a ranked spiritual advisor on what course or action to take in regards to them; this isn't a very nice thing and shouldn't be going on at all. I'm sure a pastor/whatever would like to know it is.

--- End quote ---
If these church ladies are like my church ladies, they probably view this and would frame it as trying to make sure everything goes well, as in, do these young girls really know how it is done kind of thing.

Could one of them be on your committee? Or could you call one for advice, needed or not? I guess I I'm suggesting making them feel included somehow.

Good luck. For what it's worth, I get it and believe that they probably are basically nice women.

Docslady21:
Good pastors do not want mean girl behavior. Bring it up because someone needs to correct these catty women with a spray bottle. Church is for faith and God, not for creating cliques and animosity. This is not the proper attitude of any faith I've encountered.

If you choose not to go that route, I would do the following:

1. Secure your own volunteers. Get your hands on the list via the pastor and take care of it yourself.
2. Stop asking for approval from them. They have no authority as far as I can tell.
3. Ask the rector about everything. If the rector gets sick of it, you have a golden conversation opener.

gramma dishes:
Does everything your group does have to be run past these church ladies?  I'm not sure I understand how they're involved in such a way that they can make things more difficult. 

How can they manipulate an evite?  Are they the ones wording it and uploading it?
Can your committee schedule the staffers yourselves instead of having the church ladies do the staffing?
How do they get 'editorial control'?  Can't you just do this stuff yourselves and get it approved by whoever needs to okay it?

I honestly don't think they're doing all this interfering to be "helpful".  I think they're envious that your events go smoothly and achieve a degree of success that's unprecedented and they don't like that.  I smell Sabotage.

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