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Sin City Is Where the Holy Make Money! - Chronarchy

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January 18th, 2008


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05:05 pm - Sin City Is Where the Holy Make Money!
I received my W2 today from Ohio State, which happens every year. This year, though, I made more than last year (always a positive thing), and broke a number in my pay that I've been shooting at for years. As a result, I have revised my internal sense of worth and my goals about what I would like to earn in my current job, with an eye to future employment as well.

Just as a matter of curiosity, I decided to see how I compare with others in my field. To do this, I landed at the Bureau of Laber Statistics.

I learned some things about my current occupation (mostly that I get paid pretty much normally, which is disappointing because I can't complain as much as I'd hoped), but stumbled onto something far more interesting: the statistics for what clergy earn, nationally speaking:

BoLS Stats on Clergy

It looks like Nevada, where the mean pay for a clergyperson is $55,700, is the place to go if you want to marry and bury people for a living. Here in Ohio, the mean pay for clergy is $37,290 per year (in Columbus proper, the mean pay for clergypersons is $43,110 per year).

Of course, I'm not paid to be clergy. It's odd, though, to see that people *do* get paid to be clergy, and they get paid a damn sight better than I do at my "real" job.

I've recently been thinking about my clergy-ing, and my actual job (which, I should mention, is on the up-and-up recently), and I thought about it like this:
I have two jobs. One that doesn't pay enough cash, and one that doesn't pay any cash at all. One I don't like, and one I love. One I spend 40 hours per week doing, and one I spend 50-60 hours doing, without overlap. One that is a paycheck, and one that pays in amazing and unexpected dividends I can't cash anywhere.
I don't think that most people realize how much time I put into both these jobs. I'm not sure I realize how much time I put into both (or I didn't, until I started thinking about it three weeks ago).

I wish I could just do the clergy thing. I drive past churches at night and see the priest planning out his blocking for that Sunday's service through the window. I see another priest changing the sign in front of his church, adding a stupid slogan like, "Fight truth decay: brush up on your Bible daily!" I go to an interfaith service and I'm underprepared, a bit lost, and too short on time to actually help beyond the actual meeting (i.e. you can't count on me to do any sort of homework or volunteer for additional meetings). I often find myself a bit jealous of other clergypersons: I want to do those things!

I've made time for a lot of the really important things that I feel I need to do as Clergy, and it's the sort of stuff I really love. Despite that, it's taken a bit of a toll on some of my personal relationships over the years, and I almost never manage to complete a conversation over email anymore.

The odd thing is, though: I'm not tired, nor lacking energy. I'm not feeling the "burn" that so many people get. I understand my limits and what I'm doing in the scheme of things. In fact, I'm actually busier now than I have been in my life, and yet I'm also more productive and putting out a higher quality of work.

In all, life is pretty good.

Let's see where it takes me, shall we?
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Landfall", -JB

(10 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:tosk
Date:January 18th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
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Well, I think they get hazard pay, that's a lot of sin not to succumb to.

A Dirty Job of Mike Rowe proportions.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:January 20th, 2008 06:53 am (UTC)
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I wonder how that episode would go . . .
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:January 20th, 2008 06:49 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure. I'll have to go back and look again. Could you re-send it? I don't recall seeing it.
[User Picture]
From:lisbet
Date:January 19th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)
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Thanks for posting the BLS link! I'll have to bookmark that. I discovered I'm underpaid (no big surprise there) but it does give me a bit of ammo for the salary & performance reviews that are coming up at my company soon. The new owners seem to be taking it seriously so I'm hoping for something good to come out of all this recent shakeup.

I wish you could just do the clergy thing, too. But I'm glad that life is good for you overall:)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:January 20th, 2008 06:57 am (UTC)
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That's why I went to look at it. It's odd to feel disappointment at learning you're being paid about right for your job :)

And yeah, life is good.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:January 20th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
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At some point, as a community, we're going to need to create structures that can support our support personnel.
[User Picture]
From:dubhlainn
Date:January 20th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
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That is something else we never talk about in Neopagan communities. From my prespective as a UU one thing I believe that will have to change before our clergy can become full time, paid ministerial professionals is the ability to also have full or part time paid professional administrators.

This is just a guess but I would imagine a lot of the work you do in the hours stated above is adminstrative. It is awefully difficult to offer pastoral care to one's Grove memebers, plan and present ritual, attend workshops and further training, take part in interfaith discussions and groups, be available to the community, and an active voice for our values in the world if you are stuck editing the newsletter or answering calls for directions.
[User Picture]
From:dubhlainn
Date:January 20th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
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well that and we have to bring in more money.
[User Picture]
From:singingwren
Date:January 19th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
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You know what you need?

Altar boys. Other random assistants.

Let your Grove help you some!
[User Picture]
From:wishesofastar
Date:January 19th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
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Altar boys? I didn't know chronarchy swung that way.
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:January 19th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
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Ah, but if chronarchy had altar boys, I'm sure singingwren would be happy to swing them her way.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:January 20th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
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Heh. It's come up before. Mostly, it was back when I needed someone to hold my ritual script.

Still, they'd come in handy. And if singingwren wanted to swing them her way, well, that's her business. So long as they're passing out cups or holding up a script when we need 'em, I wouldn't mind them being swung every now and again.
[User Picture]
From:verginiamus
Date:January 19th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
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My husband's family were on a lot of church committees for their United Methodist Church. Trust me a minister's life is not that wonderful. The committees argued over finances all the time - how much to pay the minister, whether the minister is worth all that money, yada yada yada... Of course they paid the minister's salary... and felt they had a say in his life or hers or theirs (once they had a minister couple - both ordained, both co-ministers).

Of course, I never felt the calling to be clergy of anything... so it may be an internal thing of why people become clergy.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:January 20th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
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Whether the congregation pays the clergyperson or not, they generally feel they have a say in his life :) Sometimes, the clergy get used to it. Sometimes, they resent it. Me, I'm too easy-going to resent it. I just smile, nod and hope it blows over.

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