I must confess- I love public speaking.

I love it.  I love finding ways to say things that captures everyone’s attention.  I love throwing out feelings of joy, silliness, gravity, passion, indignation, and heartbreak and having them nestle in the audience, grow, and come flying back to me.  I feel like I’m playing an instrument of ideas and emotions.  Plus, I love telling people what I’ve learned.  

I’m helping organize my husband’s family reunion.  One of his great uncles founded a religious commune even more extreme than my church, to give an idea of how seriously this family takes religion and tradition.

One of the uncles, a pastor, was to give the Sunday sermon.  I just learned that he likely won’t be able to make it.  He asked if I could find a few people to give short testimonies instead.

See my temptation!  Aarrrgh!  I don’t want to abuse any power I have as assistant organizer.  I want to promote unity and make people feel comfortable but I also want to get people thinking.  
I’m also not a believer, and even though I can speak the language, I can’t in good conscience give messages I believe are harmful – like talking about the glory of god and the depravity of humans, talking about the virtue of blind faith, romanticizing suffering or any of the proposed topics the pastor gave.  Ugh.  I wouldn’t want my children listening to them either.

Do I appoint others to speak and go canoeing Sunday morning?  Or do I participate and just be encouraging?

5 thoughts on “Temptation

  1. Jen says:

    I see nothing wrong with you giving an encouraging message as part of the service…. But canoeing sounds like more fun to me.

  2. prairienymph says:

    Canoeing wins out. We will be enjoying the water and escaping some livestreamed sermon (shudder).

  3. Zoe Bloomer says:

    Well I see you chose canoeing so now I don’t have to answer your question. :mrgreen:

    BTW, I loved public speaking too.

  4. prairienymph says:

    Apparently I wouldn’t have been able to do much anyways. I have been informed that only men are going to pray before meals, so imagine the problems if I had asked a non-man to share a short testimony during the service!

    Zoe- I would love to hear you speak. I’m assuming your old church overused your energy but underutilized your talents like speaking.

  5. Zoe Bloomer says:

    My speaking talents were a thorn in their sides. :mrgreen: Gradually they used my abilities for their agenda as they reigned me in. I was asked to speak often and I made no bones about speaking in private with various leaders much to their consternation. In the end though, spiritually abusive churches leave individuals wasted and barely a shell of themselves.

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