Daddy made several poignant points during the eulogy of Rev. Dr. Amos Eugene that I would like to share with you all:
As a practice, Pastors, specifically Haitian Pastors, have been trained under the notion that they are supposed to be impenetrable emotionally. They are not supposed to feel or emote even under the most challenging circumstances –this is especially not to be done publicly. In a room filled with Pastors, young and old, he encouraged them not to succumb to this idea of pastoring.
Additionally, he addressed the high suicide rates and mental health issues for clergy members and noted the significant importance of having at least one "Pastor Friend" to walk with in this life. Someone with whom you can talk to honestly, pray with, and embrace during challenging times. Someone who understands the journey in practice. For him, that was Rev. Dr. Amos.
He also encouraged Pastors to be more collaborative with each other as opposed to working against each other, something he and Rev. Dr. Amos modeled. He noted (and I'm paraphrasing because he was speaking in French) that if you see another Pastor doing better than you in an area, don't hate on them, "for it's God who gives the gifts; pray that God increases your skills."
These particular points were addressed to Pastors, but I'm sure many of us can glean from them as well.
My dad is a man of integrity and practices what he preaches. In his brief address to his congregation today, he noted that "we are not superman" and permitted someone else to preach for him today. Something I know was difficult for him to do, but that he did, I imagine, for his own mental wellness.
I rarely talk about the privilege of being a Pastor's Kid (or Pastor's grandkid, for that matter) because, in the past, it has felt more like a burden than a gift; however, the further I walk into my vocation, the more I recognize that I have been afforded the opportunity to see first-hand what integrity looks like in ministry. It's more than just delivering God's word (and not one's opinion) from the pulpit. It's telling the truth when it's most difficult. Even when you don't want to, it's actively forgiving (one of Rev. Dr. Amos Eugene's most notable characteristics). It's self-work, accountability, and self-lessness.
What an honor to have been surrounded by people like my Grand Father, my Daddy, Rev. Dr. Amos Euguene (#RIP), and although she is not a pastor (but is a Pastor's Kid and First Lady), my Mom, my entire life. They have been my role models for what integrity in this vocation looks like.
With Love and Prayers,
(Dr. to be) Minister Yamie Barnett