"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pre-Convention Hearings

Well, it promises to be a boring convention. Most of the resolutions are simple procedural matters to clean up the details where the canons and day to day practice differ. Nothing here is a matter of salvation, ultimate importance, or the lowest level of intrigue. If last year's convention was described as "boring" this one promises to induce coma.

For one ordained into an active battlefield, where every vote in every convention would lead us further down one path or another, a pivotal moment, a weighty matter, this era of conventions is a bit lackluster. Its a rough but necessary lesson that the Church does not exist to feed my sense of self-importance and entertainment. While I'm not one of the major combatants (to whom we owe a great debt in many cases), or a political animal (like my friend over at anglicanyinzer.blogspot.com), I am rather fond of friendly debate. A diocesan convention where there is no disagreement seems to be a waste of time and money. I'm not sure why we can't just show up to dinner on Friday night, and afterwards take ten minutes to a-okay the resolutions and go home.

But I'm aware that that's a sign of a need to grow up and pay attention to the details (that I'd prefer to ignore) and get on with the work of the church, even its minutae. I doubt I'm the only one suffering from that need... most of us are ready to launch into The Next Great Thing (tm) and want to not have time for boring little things... but God is still in the details, too.

So I guess we have some growing up to do, or at least I do (surprise, surprise), but it was nice to spend more time in the post-hearing beer session than in the hearings themselves.

And members of the press, if you're looking for anything intersting happening in the diocese next month... well, let me know if you find anything. For now the interesting things are far from newsworthy, just building relationships and doing day to day ministry, and the occasionally utterly non-exciting entertainmentless resolution on the Convention floor.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Tara. For some reason as I read this I was reminded of the lovely and funny little poem, "Bohemia," by Dorothy Parker:

    Authors and actors and artists and such
    Never know nothing, and never know much.
    Sculptors and singers and those of their kidney
    Tell their affairs from Seattle to Sydney.
    Playwrights and poets and such horses' necks
    Start off from anywhere, end up at sex.
    Diarists, critics, and similar roe
    Never say nothing, and never say no.
    People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;
    God, for a man that solicits insurance!

    In any event, with thanksgiving for friendships, for the ministry God gives us in this great part of the world, and, well, for "boring conventions." May their tribe increase . . . .

    Bruce Robison

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  2. I like boring _lots_. But I also live for the details and getting it right the first time. I just figure that sometimes the visionaries leave the field so the builders can put legs to the vision. I also think that if you have a builder casting vision you are in trouble.

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  3. I told His Grace last night that I almost miss the dear dim days beyond recall when clergy and laity who didn't like him compared him and his supporters to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, and called him a "homophobe" and "racist". Some would sit where they could be seen jotting copious notes on who said what to whom. Remember when they wanted the names of those who voted for various matters during convention? His Grace and I laughed, and after a few moments of serious reflection, I decided I preferred boredom.

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  4. Ah, Dan. While I'm glad we've moved on to better things, I don't do well with boredom. I remarked to someone once that I'm like a puppy, all cute and cuddly but when I'm bored I chew the furniture.

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