Friday, April 20, 2007

How I spent my Friday

I spent most of the day at a Synod meeting. I'm not a delegate, or commissioner, or whatever. I'm just on a committee that they have to have - the Committee on Representation. It's supposed to make sure that minorities are asked to serve on Presbytery and Synod committees and panels. As you can imagine, in a denomination that is 95%+ Caucasian, this is not an easy assignment. And the Committee on Representation members get a little weary and dispirited, and begin to lose their fervor for the job.
So the national office sent us a resource person to jazz us up. And she talked and talked and talked, as religious sorts do, and kept telling us how brave we would have to be to confront the good ol' boy network and entrenched racism, and discrimination against people with disabilities (the latest, and easiest minority group to locate in a Presbyterian gathering . . . ) and so on, etc.
And it was impossible to get a word in edgewise - and even if I could have, I'm not sure I have the heart to do it - but she completely missed the point that the reason our job is so hard is because the vast majority of minority people are out doing something more challenging and important to them than serving on a committee of a predominantly white church.

But. (And this is a big but in my opinion!) She told me one thing I've been waiting all my career to hear: I am eligible for an all expense paid trip to Daytona Beach Florida in October. For training. I have always suspected that this is why people serve on these crazy church committees. And now, I feel my case has been proven AND I get to go to Florida in October!

And it has given me an idea: Maybe I could offer some minority people the trip in exchange for serving on a committee?!


a friend from DE said...

committees...i know i've gotten a funny email about what exactly it is that committees do, but i've deleted it. i'm sure it was something sarcastic and witty, you know how those emails are.
daytona beach in october, huh...don't suppose your committee needs a lay person?...

pastor cindy said...

The Presbyterian version of the Bible:
"For God so loved the world, that he DIDN'T send a committee . . . "

Or A camel is a horse as "visioned" by committee?

At Philo Pres I started calling all the committees "teams" (as in "Stewardship Team" "Worship Team" "Christian Education Team").
I like the sound of it better, but it's often a case of "What's in a name? A committee by another name would smell . . . as sweet?" Sorry, Shakespeare!