Sunday, June 24, 2007


It's 7:00 am in a Best Western motel "dining room" on Sunday morning beneath the shadow of Mt. Shasta! I drove out of Portland yesterday afternoon so I could drive south to Eugene to see my son Luke play in a men's league Ultimate Frisbee tournament. I watched him play till about 6 pm when I got antsy to get back on the road. the 12 hour drive from Santa Barbara to Eugene was a bit too much for me to want to bite off in one day. So I drove till about 9:30 pm and slept in this sprawling motel complex. Now I'm enjoying the sounds of kids shuffling through the continental breakfast options, spilling cereal and waking up.
Annual meetings bring out the worst in me. It's like the two angels perched on a person's shoulder; one is cynical and the other is tender. The cynical voice shouts loudly to me. Reading my blog over the years tells you that I tend to be critical.
The Covenant Annual meeting is a good gathering of good people intent on doing good things for God. There was a lot to genuinely celebrate in so many areas. We are a fiscally prudent and desire to be faithful.
So what gets me cynical and critical? I guess it's the sense that there is an appearance of genuine dialogue, but a hunch that many of the conversations and decisions were made in tight circles long before the people gathered. Is that wrong? No, not necessarily.
The other force at work in me is the deep awareness that I am energized by the concerns of the local church. I love getting emails and calls from MCC during the meeting. Life is local. Pastoral concerns trump denominational directives. So, I'm getting on the road in a few minutes and taking the top down on the rental convertible and flying home to where I belong (with a little Bach blasting on the ipod!!)


At 9:55 AM , Blogger mark said...

Yreka, home of Karla Yaconelli, former home of Mike Yaconelli.
I hear it's beautiful.

Enjoy the Bach.

Have you heard Yo Yo Ma's solo cello version of Bach? incredible!

At 12:07 PM , Blogger M Squared said...

In the interest of Unity and congregational polity, decisions made in small, tight circles can alienate those on the outside. The result tends to have a myopic focus. What is the danger in a more open process? I think the only ones threatened by a more healthy approach are those with an expected outcome...

At 7:39 PM , Blogger Kalon L said...

Maybe your angst at annual meetings is because typically we don't come to them as broken people seeking help and encouragement from our Christian brothers and sisters. Instead they are framed as very positive meetings (and I am not saying this is insincere), but it does mean that we tend to focus on our accomplishments in spite of our verbally acknowledging God's sovereignty.

We need some way of bringing David's psalms that cry for mercy into our church life.


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