Dear Manoj and everyone,
Dear Manoj and everyone,
Thank you for the letter.
It’s indeed sad that we don’t seem concerned (well, it could be silence of helplessness) about what happens on our church grounds. Or could it be that we (the congregation) like children in our homes leave it to parents and feel secure to go about living life and thus adding color to all lives (the parents included), did we then just, leave it to the PC? And then came a grandpa and chased away the parents? And the children now have to grow up overnight?
The charges are serious, and even though we know that there has been correctives and reprimands that has followed this letter, it has been outside of those addressed here – at the diocese offices. And because we as a Wesley family are unaware we might be waiting on a larger discrepancy, a sin of omission perhaps, therefore not so serious we may contend! But, it really just leads us further into our cocoon of apathy. And that really is just a wasted chance of experiencing the Joie de vivre of togetherness… The 2 or 3 in His name and He will be in our midst?!
When we do away with the processes or not replace it with better ones it will lead us to this bleak deep darkness. These processes and the guidelines to lead us in spirit were laid down in wisdom and by invoking the presence of the Maker by those who came before us (founding fathers/mothers). So in our doing away with systems that are to be followed, we mock the creator and then His creation.
In these 3 years of this new PC we have had zilch done because all committees have been brought to naught by the Chair almost immediately after the meetings are done – even just speaking of the committees I have been on. Reduced to the expenses incurred on chai and vadas for that evening. And talking of the PC: it has led into some dark depth and was soon condemned to non-existence, and is now the furthermost from the good intentions the many newcomers and young had brought to this present PC. I suppose most of the intentions now roast on the kitchen-fires they have been asked to ‘go blow’!. How actively the office worked to keep people away from the grounds as much as possible: and leaving people with nothing to do, and let them hide their light under the bushel also allowed them to keep their money away from here too.
So, when the grounds suddenly went abuzz 2 Sundays ago, after the treasurer asked for money/contribution into the empty coffers, the questions were the same, how has it come to this? Shouldn’t the Treasurer bring this to the elected PC first? OH! There is no PC! Well, if there is no PC why are the Treasurer and Secretary still called by their offices?
“Who said we could have a school in our grounds, who? How can we run something we know nothing of? And that is eating up all the money, is it not?” one loud voice dared to ask of the bell tower, cause the other walls had not spoken in years. See how our lack of process manifests itself? People didn’t even know the major projects taken up, people don’t know of major projects being subverted and readied for the kill. People with the capabilities and willingness to contribute are kept away so that small minds can expand their chair space in this public space.
As there is no-thing as too late as long as there is life, I suppose we must take this as a big kick in the posterior to wake up… no no, not to smell the coffee, that ship sailed!!
Our lessons therefore would be to find out who this ‘our church’ really is now, and not be defined by people who are not of us at all; even though theirs’ be the high offices. In this age of narratives, we have been sunk by a loudly declared perception. Let me give you a physical evidence of a narrative I refer to, even though that narrative may have failed in getting a letter from the pastor’s office into the Minority Cell Office. The evidence: Wesley has been posted a new pastor! He is a nice person we hear, though we hear lots of not nice about people from the diocese, and lots of not nice about the newly proposed incumbent too. And like a senior pastor told us a couple of days ago, ‘every member of the clergy is brushed with a coat of slander, so that is nothing to go by’. I can only but agree! So, what we have been handed is a pastor who will serve out his last 2 years here! And this step was taken because we (Wesley) are but a small bunch of old folks. Yes! a few from the stationing committee stated that too. Nothing wrong with a senior pastor for Wesley! But, here is what maybe wrong for us, just from how it played out for us in the last decade: if we thought that we will find direction only from the Shepherd we may be waiting on the apocalypse.
The other thing also is that, the corporate board room style is not for us (church) and the clergy and corporate takeovers and slime and personal slander, that is not how we conduct business at a public place of sanctity we call Church. For Christ sake?!
My priest has often asked me, ‘what is this atmosphere we need to clean, that you talk about, I don’t understand’. Oh, that was easy like Sunday morning! So, when people complained to him about the empty pews, his answer: ‘what do you want me to do, stand at the gate and call people in?’. if these are all accepted answers (well, even though they are just question for question) then the role of nurturing our community really lies in our hands – the spiritual and the bodily too. The priest just comes to live in our compound for a few years.
May god help us to be the people he called us to become/transform.
The Church or being part of it is not a calling to come and be at the church all the time, that’s what is asked of by people who question the drastic deeds. We just need to give our best to him in the time we got and let others do so too, this then will allow for all of us to work in the field. This present system has very few participating, and therefore our giving is small and the name calling loud. We! Yes, We are the body of Christ, not I and my family alone. So, if we continued the way we are today, of taking the office and position and keeping it at home. We are doomed. Our mandate as a church is to be open and love (charity) all! And not like the charity of alms which really is not charity. Eg: expecting the unquestioning obedience and gratefulness and meekness from the maid who was given your shirt that didn’t fit you anymore. We have to continually work towards undoing wrongs and connecting again. We must live the WORD that makes us the Church! Just the loud utterances and whining about the other being be sinner is the way of the world, that the lord called us out of. No shinning white cloth can hide our inner stains nor any Surf wash it away. We will have to cling to the cross and believe and then take it up and walk. Difficult? Oh yes, and then NO! He sent us an enabler/counselor/ Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39) and then love and our being together.
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” -Fred Rogers, television host
So as much as there is clarity in looking back, we have to live forward with the lessons we got and go beyond the values that only money can bring. Oh yes, money will get us new generator and stained-glasses and an office assistant to blame for all our wrongs. But no! No right? His kingdom has no end! Our behavior of not believing in the abundance brings about the destruction of His Church!
Ok! Enough said! Now I will go and try and find my daily bread.
Oh and this lil quote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke (http://www.padfield.com/1997/goodmen.html)
God bless you all
PS: Dr. Tony, we must be careful what we ask for, we might get it. You definitely got me to do this J.
PPS: all views addressed here are just my limited ones!
Ps: Dr. Tony, we must be careful what we ask for, we might get it. You definitely got me to do this 🙂
and all views addressed here are just my limited ones!
the above is a response to this mail below!!!!