A potentially defining moment for a dying congregation seems destined to go forth, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
I lost two-plus hours of my life tonight at our church's mandatory annual meeting (which I will always call a Charge Conference even though it apparently isn't called that now). These are typically held close to year-end at our church, either after a Sunday service or on a weeknight. This year, the District (read: diocese) decided to cluster (finish that with any word beginning with F you choose- like "fudge") six rag-tag fleets of Methodists in a single Charge Conference Mania event at one of the biggest, and furthest, venues. The combined worship and rah-rah session took well over an hour, with gardening metaphors in serious need of being blocked, and with our church possessing the smallest contingent and, clearly, being the neediest bunch of the six. Were we among the three of the six who met our 2013 goal for apportionments? No. Were we among the five who at least paid more than we paid last year? Apparently not. Still, this is church, where everybody gets a trophy, unless you're marrying gay people- and we got props for admitting more than two new members, starting a new outreach project, and baptizing at least one baby- "don't say the kid's name, Vic!"
Then we were herded into six separate corners for the dull and mandated business of the faith: minutes, motions and filing of reports. Including one of mine, possibly the last one, because it is apparently near certain that I will need to take close to a seminary semester load of courses to retain my current certification after 2014. I was yawning gapingly by the time it all came to an end, when we got to the "any other business" part.
Well, yeah, I said: our congregation's decision to affirm the sexual-orientation rights of all members, specifically and out loud, which I've been advocating since July and was supposed to have been voted on a week ago at a last-minute-canceled council meeting?
Turns out, they did vote- by email. And positively. But they also are holding off on proclaiming it until the congregation has seen the wording and been given an opportunity to comment. Possibly there'll be a survey- or a committee. I at least got them to put it into a "it happens unless" stance rather than a "it will happen when" one- because I've seen so many good ideas go to die in that place we could convert the entire fellowship hall into a graveyard.
If I see it in Sunday's bulletin, I'll post it. Pray, if you're so inclined. Or just marry two gay people if you've got the creds- if only to piss off the Bishop.ETA
. Yoinks. Just saw this at the bottom of the minutes of last year's Charge Conference, which we approved last night without objection (and with objection being discouraged because, and I quote here, the 2012 recording secretary is an armed police officer):
"If any of your ideas bares fruit, pass it on."
Sheesh. Indifference and intolerance are bad enough, but can we at least work on our goddam grammar?
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