Friday, November 21, 2008

Gossip ... scapegoats ... and the truth ...

Haven't been bloggin' much lately ... and I haven't been reading blogs much lately either ... life has been busy, and over the last three or four days I've been feeling less than 100% ... the surest sign of that is going to bed BEFORE midnight, and sleeping til 8 in the morning ... something I seldom do ...
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Mind you, beyond work, running kids here and there, and trying to stay one step ahead of a wild 16 week old puppy, not much else has been going on in my life ... (as though that hasn't been enough) ...
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Today though I read a piece on The Laughing Pastor that is worth echoing and sharing here ... as I read his words I couldn't help but think - "Damned, when did he start working in Western Manitoba??"
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Blake wrote:
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There must be a crisis present in order to deal with change and transition.
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There must always be a scapegoat....someone to blame for the latest "happening, or event" that has been defined as inapproriate.
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There is one right way of doing it, but it is not the way we are doing it right now!
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If we just communicate more fully all anxiety will be quieted.
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If we just have a clear set of job descriptions then the congregation will have realistic expectations of the staff person.
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If we just keep saying the same thing over and over, eventually what we are saying will become reality.... (Funny, gossip starts out in the same way)
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As I reread this, I realized that it can be taken as a positive affirmation of a congregation who has the courage to face change and anxiety and over come it ... and it can be taken as a strong condemnation of a congregation who has failed MISERABLY to face change and anxiety, and has allowed their fear to over whelm them ...
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Today as I stand pondering whether my future includes the United Church of Canada any longer, I realize that my path has been marked by groups and individuals who have fallen firmly in the latter category ...
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Scapegoating ... blame ... blindness ... unrealistic expectations ... failing to communicate ... and sharing gossip long enough for it to be regarded as truth ... these are the things I've walked through with the "good" people of Minnedosa, and the toxicity these things represent has spread through the United Churches of Westman like a cancer ... and NO ONE has the courage to open thier mouth and speak the truth. When I dare to speak the truth, the response is a continuation of harsh judgement, name calling, gossip mongering and outright bullshit ...
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Blake names a truth - there is ONE right way of doing things. From my experience, the United Church in Westman has failed miserably in following that path, and they will die defending the failure to see THAT simple truth. They are insistent that they ARE following the one right way of doing things, and they will NOT open their eyes to the folly of this belief ...
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And perhaps most appalling of all is that even as I write these words I can hear the chorus of condemnation and judgement that will be lobbed against me ... daring to speak a truth is seldom welcome in The Church, and having the courage to say what needs to be said results in accusations and further name calling ...
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Sadly, it is to such that the Kingdom of God seemingly belongs ... and we continue to wonder why the Church is dying ...
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If we only opened our eyes to the truth around us we could do more than render the insipid palliative care to the Church as it is, and we could instead embrace our role as mid-wives to the Church as the Spirit seeks it to be ... we could truly be Children of the Resurrection, basking and celebrating in the light of New Life, instead of cowering in the dark, locked upper room mourning the death of what was ...
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The transformation of the Resurrection begins and ends with one concept - TRUTH.
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TRUTH.
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Truth is something that is not just lacking, but is totally ABSENT from the modern Church ... the voices that dare to speak the truth are continually marginalized and driven out ... and many simply shrug their shoulders and fall silent. But some have the stubborness and the courage to continue speaking ... and one day TRUTH will again prevail in our churches, and the Resurrection will come ... and like the story of the Bridesmaids, there will be some who are simply unprepared for that moment and find themselves locked out ...
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Maybe one day we'll learn !!!
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Just because we've ALWAYS done it this way; or just because the rules say you "have" to do it this way, doesn't mean it's the right way.
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If Augustine, Luther, Gandhi, King and others have taught us nothing else, they have taught us that - "just because the majority says it's right doesn't make it so ..."
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Mob rule does not mean justice!
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3 comments:

yourownpersonal said...

*sighs loudly*

laughing pastor said...

thanks. your words give me strength and remind me that I am not alone in my desire for higher expectations for the church.
blake

have you checked out naked pastor blog. that guy is on target...you will enjoy him.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for not signing my name, it is for reasons you may or may not understand..and I would understand if you chose not to post this as a result.

You do speak a very real truth.. so much so that at times it brings a tear when I think of what has been lost here.. I know Minnedosa has treated you in the worst possible of ways; and although there are a number of us who couldn't change the hands of fate--we wish we could have.

But today, we remain a dying congregation. We drive by daily and see our empty church lot, being parked on, littered on, loitered on, being used for just about anything except what it should be used for. But it's all about bigger and better.. they couldn't have used the insurance and fundraising money they had to build us a new church..no, we had to go big, and now there isn't enough money for the "big" church! So again, we continue to remain homeless, in a sense. I didn't need big and fancy, I just needed my church back. I don't care how expensive the paint and pictures are or how beautiful they think it needs to be, it should be the people in it and the message delivered inside that counts.

We've lost you as our minister, our mentor, our leader and friend; and now with each passing day, it feels as though we've forever lost our place of worship. I know I am not alone in my thinking. Sadly, more than just a few have given up the hope, and are no longer going to service, even in our temporary home. And just as many have said they wouldn't bother going back to the United church even when or if it is rebuilt because they've lost their faith--in all of it.

Continued good luck, and blessings to you and yours.