Catherine Dunphy, Executive Director of The Clergy Project, recently appeared on State of Belief, a radio show hosted by Rev. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance. The interview is short, but full of good information about pastors who lose their faith and need a way out of the church.
In particular, I would draw your attention to this exchange near the end:
Gaddy: [It’s] very possible that someone is listening to this program who’s going through that kind of [loss-of-faith] crisis. What would you say to that person?
Dunphy: I would say that they should reach out. They should contact us and talk to some of our screeners. And if The Clergy Project is not the right fit for them — say they don’t consider themselves to be non-believers — then there are other resources that I would recommend, such as Recovering from Religion, or also, possibly talking to someone through the Therapist Project. So I would say contact us, because even if this isn’t the community for you, we want to do what we can to help you. So please visit our website, then, at clergyproject.org.
Gaddy: I think equally important— and maybe even more complex: what would you say to the people surrounding that clergyperson? Friends, family, congregation: What do they need to know?
Dunphy: I would say that the person that you love and know is still the same person. Their worldview has changed, and it’s their personal perspective. They most likely don’t want to change your position; they don’t want to have you migrate your beliefs away from how you believe; they only want you to remember to continue to embrace them; continue to see them as the person that you love. Because those things have not changed.
(Thanks to Ray for the link!)