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Friday, December 28, 2007

Crow's Nest Activities

The Friday after Christmas is a wonderfully quiet time in the church, in every church I've served. Church activities are suspended for family time. The regular office and staff pace is muted. It's a time of gathering reports and statistics for the coming annual meeting. And it's the time for my Annual Report to the congregation. That means the crow's nest, that highest point on a ship in which a spotter is stationed to look for schools of fish, other ships or land (before GPS). Because of the curvature of the earth, the higher one can go up the mast, the farther one can see, ahead, to the sides and behind. 
That is the challenge and point of the Annual Report; to honestly look back on our "wake" and see where we've come from. For me that means laboriously reading back through my calendar, reviewing my activities church events. That's impossible to do during the high-pitched pace of a normal week. But when it's quiet, in the crow's nest, I am able to look back and reflect on what we've done (and not done).
The other more challenging task is to share with the readers of the Annual Report where we are planning to go, what our immediate and longer term steps are to be faithful disciples here in Santa Barbara. When I get more comments from leadership and staff, I will distill that report here. 
But until then, I'm enjoying the quiet and the wind in the crow's nest.

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