How much does the congregation need to know about my family matters and personal life?

Being English, I am at heart a private person, and it has been hard to live all these years in a "right to know what I want to know" church culture—especially raising three kids in the USA in front of an interested congregation!

When we first came, a three month visit from my English Mother-in-law proved a real challenge. I discovered the church wanted to watch "up close and personal" how this relationship was working out for us. The pointed questions, I felt, were over the line. Much of this was of course my own culture shock, but I learned to leave the curtains drawn back in the parsonage and share with our church people, when appropriate. But when is appropriate? There is no way to know but by trial and error! You learn by experience when the right to know what I want to know is wrong, and when it's right!

It was also difficult learning to be a Pastor's wife in this country. As someone has said, "It's hard living in a fish bowl when the cat is watching." I certainly do not mean ...

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