Friday, July 22, 2011

Black Wednesday, as it is being called

On Wednesday we in the Diocese of Connecticut received the notice that in order to balance the diocesan budget, six people were being laid off at Diocesan House in Hartford. I am terribly sad for friends who are losing their jobs. At the same time, I was surprised the find myself feeling I should check my pockets, as it were, to make sure I still had a job, even though I am not hired or paid by the diocese. I was relieved to find that a shrink I know had done the same thing.

That same evening a "white paper" was published by International Episcopal Church Central (TEC, or 815, to most) about the necessity of churches making wide use of social media or die.

Of course, it doesn't say, "or die". That's how I read it. It left me feeling left out, again, my livelihood threatened, for a second time in one day. I serve a church in which 33% of parishioners are online, a tiny portion of them engaged in "social media". Only one of whom - our webmaster - is willing and able to take on our internet presence - blogs and facebook. So from whence are to come the people to do the research and discernment and work required by this "white paper"?

Again, that same shrink acquaintance, having read the same paper, said it assumes parishes with people, plural, willing and able to take on this work. That is how I read this paper - hence the "or die" read.

So, fighting off the hound (those at OCICBW... will know of what I write) became a little harder this week. Yet today, having gone to bed last night in hopelessness, I woke, trying to find that hopelessness, like probing for a bad tooth, and could not, and cannot, find it. Strange, that leaves me feeling let down, because hope for a future of the one Episcopal church in town with a charism of radical welcome toward and equality of Hispanic/Latino people, is what has kept me going, and I don't know how that can continue, so from whence cometh this respite? I am confused rather than grateful.

Hence, my prayer on Wednesday night and since: Who are you, really, God? What are you about?


Barbara said...

I am experiencing similar angst and although my livelihood is not dependent upon this parish, most of my hopes and dreams for the future of the church and Christianity as a whole are. I am feeling a little lost and hopeless and feel myself counting on the Holy Spirit to slap me up the side of the face and say, 'Come on, Barb, you can do this.' (whatever 'this' needs to be) I just pray I am up to the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Given that your church's core demographic is shrinking faster than a pizza in front of Michael Moore, shouldn't all your churches have "charism" of having Spanish-speaking people? Or do Mainline Protestants just like talking FOR the poor-you don't want to actually have any around you?
Considering that you've been talking about "Celebrating our Diversity" for years while remaining over 95% White and middle/upper middle class, I'm guessing it's the latter.

Lois Keen said...

Next time, Anonymous, please sign your name. I would normally delete an Anonymous reply however I happen to agree with you. We should all have that charism; we don't, or we ignore it. Those of us who say "yes" to God's demand that we become one with our Latino and Latina brothers and sisters pay a heavy price.

For the record, the church I serve has been diverse racially, economically, culturally, and linguistically for over 40 years. Welcoming Hispanics/Latinos was the most recent inclusion.