Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Why I Was There
I attended Presbytery tonight. As often happens, I sat wondering why I was there. What was my calling? Would I better be serving the purposes of the kingdom of God in a meeting in which no meeting happened, in which no relationships were nurtured and in which we did only routine business? Or would such purposes be better served by responding to my calling to be father to my three kids and husband to my wife on the evening before she leaves town for work for a week?
I appreciate the importance of the routine work: an ordination was approved, several new pastoral callings were approved, and a retirement was acknowledged. The necrology from 2008 was lifted up and we recalled all the saints who, having run their race with perseverance, are now at rest with God. Announcements were made of significant events in the lives of the faithful.
But everything that happened could have been accomplished either through virtual means, via committee work, or in one hour of stirring worship, so I wondered, why was I there?
Turns out I was a vote counter on an overture from General Assembly that the General Assembly Council be renamed the General Assembly Mission Council. Unbelievable as it seems, the voice vote on that motion was unclear and someone called for a division of the house. I don’t recall how it turned out, and I doubt that anyone who attended recalls either. Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. We took extra time to count the votes on whether or not to change the name of a body whose function will not change at all!
Is it any wonder that there is a group of pastors who want to change the way we do business as a Presbytery?