DEAR ABBY: One would think that after 34 years of pastoral experience, I would have been prepared, but when asked by a professional adult, whose father's funeral I had just conducted, "What do you charge?" I answered, "Nothing"! The reply I received was, "If you will give me the name and address of your church, I will send a check in your honor."
I should have said, "Nothing, but I am accustomed to receiving an honorarium -- especially from non-church members." And I could have added, "Today is my third trip to this city, totaling 240 miles. At a mere 20 cents per mile, that would be almost $50 for expenses alone -- not including the six to eight hours spent in travel and preparation."
Last month I was asked to conduct a funeral service for a non-church member who lived in our community. I received an honorarium of $100, which was greatly appreciated and set aside for a future vacation.
The majority of pastors are underpaid and taken for granted. My wife reminded me of the time I was paid $10 for a wedding with the suggestion that I split it with the pianist! -- ANOTHER GEORGIA PASTOR
DEAR PASTOR: Perhaps your letter will remind readers who require the services of a clergyperson for happy occasions (weddings, christenings,) as well as sad ones (funerals, last rites, etc.) that Hoover is no longer in the White House, and the clergyperson should be appropriately compensated for his/her automobile use, gasoline, dry cleaning, haircut -- not to mention the effort and the time spent in preparing and delivering the service.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter and her husband are separated. Their children -- an 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son -- spend one weekend with their father and the next with their mom.
When they are at their father's, both children sleep in the same double bed with him. I think this is a bad idea and I told him so. His reaction to my protestations was, "Well, it's not as though I sleep in the nude -- I always wear shorts!"
Abby, both children are developing rapidly and our whole family is concerned about their sleeping arrangements when they're at their dad's. Are we overreacting? Or do you think our concerns are valid? -- GRANDMA
DEAR GRANDMA: Your concerns are valid. Not only should your grandson and granddaughter not be sleeping with their father -- they should not be sleeping with each other.
DEAR ABBY: I had to laugh when I read the letter from "A Lusting Guy in Indy" who roamed the malls lusting after slim maidens in tight jeans.
After 23 years of marriage, like a lot of other women, I've put on a few extra pounds. Try as I may, I can't get them off.
One day, my hubby asked me -- with a sad expression, "Whatever happened to that little 24-inch waist I married?"
I replied -- with an equally sad expression, "Well, Dear, I left it in the '50s with your hair!" (He's bald!) -- NOBODY'S PERFECT
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