I don’t like talking on the telephone. My dislike for phone conversation stems from my days as a pastor. I would receive numerous calls from congregants who “urgently” needed my counsel or advice or needed someone to talk to. Never mind the fact that I had already worked a twelve-hour day, or that I had Fibromyalgia and just wanted to call it a day and crawl into bed. For whatever reason, I never developed ways to cut phone calls short. So, I would listen and listen and listen as people droned on about this or that problem, concern, or objection. Answering machines and voice mail finally allowed me to distance myself from callers, but by then I had developed a psychological aversion to talking on the phone. Today, I rarely talk on the telephone. Call me and you will get my voice mail. I make no apology for walling off my life from unsolicited, unwanted calls.
Every few weeks, a blog reader will try to reach me via telephone, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or Google Voice. After trying several times to reach me, these frustrated callers will email me and ask WHEN I plan on calling them back or WHEN is the best time to call me. The answer to both questions is NEVER. Want to contact me? Email me. I will do my best to respond to you in a timely manner. Yes, I am currently weeks behind with answering emails. If you need immediate help — most often counseling or advice — I suggest you contact a mental health professional. I will do what I can to help you, but I am not a counselor. My first priorities are self and family. (And I rarely talk to family on the phone. They know to text me if they want/need an immediate response.) “Bruce, you are selfish, thinking of only yourself!” Yep, and I make no apology for it. I spent most of my adult life helping others. I sacrificed my health and family for the sake of congregants and strangers. I don’t regret doing so, but I hope you will understand when I say that I have nothing left to give.
This blog is my offering to you; my way of helping people who are struggling with doubts about Christianity or who are trying to carve out a new life post-Jesus. Want me to address a particular issue? Please ask. Want to contact me? Please email me. I promise that I will, in time, answer your question or respond to your email. But, if you are waiting for me to return your phone call, you are going to be waiting for a long, long time. I hope you will understand. If not, or you are o-f-f-e-n-d-e-d, I don’t know what to tell you. I spent most of life living according to the J-O-Y acronym: Jesus first, others second, yourself last. I came to understand the acronym went something like this: Jesus first, others second, you don’t matter. Now that I am a humanist, I have learned that I must take care of myself first; then my spouse; then my children and grandchildren. And what I have left, I offer it to others. The best way to get a piece of what I have left is to email me.
About Bruce Gerencser
Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.
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