Mar 19, 2011

Olympia Presbytery and the GIANT, HUMONGOUS, WHITE ELEPHANT We'll Pretend We Don't See

This past week, the Little Church on the Prairie hosted the presbytery meeting for Olympia Presbytery.

The volunteers at the Little Church did and amazing job of welcoming and serving! You folks were awesome in the way you extended hospitality and welcome to our friends in the presbytery.

The reason why I am posting this blog is because I still feel uneasy about the presbytery meeting. With the voting trends of the 10-A (where our denomination will change ordination standards) the PC(USA) is closer to implosion as we have ever been in our 30-40 year history as a denomination.

The stark reality is that there may not even be a PC(USA) as we currently know it and understand it at this time next year.

While we have this monumental change looming before us, the presbytery acted as if nothing was changing.

For instance, there was a motion to encourage sessions to support the presbytery either at previous year's giving or to increase their giving.

Ok. Let me get this straight. The denomination is in the midst of monumental change where the likelihood of giving trends decreasing is highly likely, and yet we are going to budget and act as if congregations are going to give more than the previous year or maintain their giving?

I don't get it.

In my humble opinion, every other institution and organization around, if they want to continue to be around and increase their effectiveness, would operate slightly differently. Given changing realities (the economy has taken a brutal hit, job market is down, housing market is down, stock markets are down, personal income is down, etc.) organizations and churches would plan and budget with those realities. And unless there was a very good reason to think that giving trends would be maintained or increased, the most logical thing to do is to budget and prepare for a down trend in giving.

That's how other organizations and institutions would do things.

But not the presbytery.

We're just going to pretend everything's going to be fine. We're going to act as if nothing's changed. We're not even going to talk about or even name that our denomination might not even be around.

Not only are we not going to talk about these realities, we are going to encourage congregations to give more.

Hmmm.

I don't get it.


1 comment:

Bob said...

James,

You are very good at seeing elephants. Governing bodies are not. We wish it would always be as it once was. But it isn't - is it? Peace friend.