I am writing in response to the recent letter from Mr. Don Burr of Nashville regarding the Ask A Pastor column. It is pleasant to know that he regularly reads this column with interest, as his letter stated. This is one of the reasons for communicating through this venue – to reach an audience with whom we might not otherwise be able to connect.
He expressed concern over who was actually asking anything of those writing the articles. The questions are, in fact, submitted by the individual pastors. Each month a single question is addressed from the varied viewpoints represented by the makeup of our ministerial alliance. Those answers serve to give the readers a bit of insight into the different traditions and doctrinal positions of the local congregations. We have, in our meetings, discussed the origin of the questions. While I cannot speak for every pastor, I do my best to reflect things in my offerings that have been inquiries made to me over time. And from the feedback that I receive – most of which is verbal – it is clear that many times the questions have ‘hit the mark’ of someone’s curiosity.
It would be great to have questions submitted directly to us and, as the current president of the ministerial alliance, I would welcome that option. I am sorry to hear that Mr. Burr had, in the past, submitted a question that he felt did not get an appropriate response in the public forum. Since he referenced it being a lengthy reply he did receive, it’s possible that it was too broad a question to be handled with a mere 500 word column. That is another aspect that must be considered when formulating questions to present to the readers.
In response to his concern about either renaming the column or limiting its appearance in the paper, I would appeal to his own opening paragraph. He has read it with interest since its inception. Based on other comments through the years, there are many who also read it regularly. We, the pastors, make the effort to summarize concerns we have heard and pose them as questions to be answered and this has seemed to be a viable forum to do so. Should Mr. Burr wish to submit some of his questions to me, I would be happy to discuss them with the other members of the alliance. As much as would be possible within the constraints of the column, we will do our best to provide a response. Those could be mailed to me directly at The Healing Place, 1920 S Mill St., Nashville, IL 62263 or sent via email to WCMA62263@gmail.com.
On behalf of the Washington County Ministerial Alliance I would like to thank the editor and staff of the Nashville News for allowing us this window into the lives of the readers. And I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Mr. Burr’s concern through this forum, as well.
Rev Syd Osenbaugh
The Healing Place
(Nashville Assembly of God)
County Ministerial Alliance
Response To Questions About Ask A Pastor