Dogs at the Table

...or to put it another way, "Perish, priest!"

Saturday, May 29, 2010


When I hear the word "consultation" I have this notion that information will be mutually shared. When the church says, "consultation," it is much more of a one-way conversation where information will be delivered.

That is what I would call a sermon -- a one-way form of communication where little reply is expected, other than the presumed stirring of the minds and hearts of the listener. There is such a thing as good preaching, and I have heard many excellent sermons in my day. I think, however, that a good sermon opens up the possibility of a new way of seeing the world, or oneself, or Jesus or God. If it is delivered with style and panache, so much the better.

So there's a diocesan consultation today. I have to go because of some of the work I do. I think it is mostly to deliver some sort of bad news about budget projections. Maybe I'm wrong. But I am reminded of the scene near the beginning of Rob Reiner's film, The American President where Sydney Ellen Wade is in a meeting with government staff and her lobby group. She says, "I promise you, the White House Chief of Staff will not let us leave here until he's broken the bad news."

I don't think anybody's going to be allowed to leave today until the bad news has been broken.

Today's weigh-in: 238 lbs. More consultation required.


  • At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Eminence_Grise said…

    So it wasn't about the budget, it was about the Diocesan Structure. I guess it was an opportunity for stakeholders to buy-in, but it was basically a one-way conversation about something that is already happening. I would have felt much better about the day if it had been presented as some kind of mid-course check-in about the future structure of the diocese. I really didn't get that message until part-way through the day.


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