#hearLDSwomen: My Bishop Said My Christmas Program Was “Icky.”
I wrote a Christmas program for my ward when we lived in Ithaca, New York. It was spirit-filled and a fresh take on a familiar story. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive: everyone loved it and was appreciative of it.
Later, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Christmas was around the corner and a program was needed. So I submitted my Christmas program to my new Bishop. Weeks went by and I got no feedback. One day after church, I approached the Bishop coming out of his office. He was obviously uncomfortable with my follow up. He didn’t want to be stopped or questioned; I almost had to jog to keep up with him while he walked down the hall.
He told me that he didn’t like my program. When I asked him to please be specific, he said that it was just “icky.” He said it gave him the “heebie-jeebies.” I was mystified and asked him what gave him that reaction. He then told me that when I described us as a “people, pregnant, along with Mary, anticipating the birth of the Christ child,” he just thought that was “icky.” And he shook his head and shoulders and soured his face for emphasis.
And he walked away, leaving me standing there, watching his back. No apology. No thank you for submitting a program or trying to help. It didn’t matter if anyone else was moved by that specific imagery, or if the rest of the program was acceptable anyone else. There was no talk of editing. He didn’t like it and there would be no further discussion. His word was law.
Lisa is a writer, reader, traveler, mystic, seeker of truth and beauty, empty nester.
Pro-tip: Express appreciation for women’s contributions in the church. Treat them with dignity and respect when giving them feedback about their ideas and offerings to the community.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)