It was a weird feeling this weekend, knowing that I would not be attending Synod for the first time since I was "suckered" into being a Circuit representative back in 2006. Since then many things have happened, including my responding to a calling from God to enter full-time ministry - which meant that I would be "sentenced" to attending Synods for the next 25 years.
Or so I thought.
Being at Seminary has changed a number of things, of course, and one of those changes is that instead of all of us traipsing off to this annual gabfest, only one representative from the seminarians is appointed to attend on our behalf, in addition to the ministerial staff at SMMS who are required to attend. To many this may be a blessing, but I must confess that I was a bit disappointed not to go - not that I particularly enjoy wading through three days of business, but because Synods provide a great opportunity to meet one's colleagues within the District.
So it is with much interest that I await the feedback from the Synods this year. As I write this, I have not heard too much from those from SMMS who attended, but it is, after all, only Monday and we have been informed that formal feedback will be provided in due course. Ross is normally quite good about this, and I have no doubt that this feedback session will happen. I was involved in the drafting of a resolution aimed at revamping parts of the stationing process, which we passed at our April Circuit Quarterly Meeting at SMMS, so I'm particularly interested to see what the outcome was at Synod.
But it has been interesting to read what some of my fellow bloggers have had to say (read here and
here) - some of which makes me hang my head in despair. Talks of power struggles, incompetence, and re-election of leaders considered to be not up to the task do not make for inspiring reading. I'm not blaming the writers - they are simply telling it like they see it. I do however wonder whether delegates to Synod have any real "teeth" - and if they do, why these are not used. Given that the process of appointing leaders in the MCSA is largely a democratic one, is it then a fair statement to say that we get the leaders we deserve?
And in the final analysis, is it then no wonder that the voices of the people at Society level become so diluted by the time Conference meets in September, that many simply no longer even bother? If this is the case, then our Church is in REAL trouble since, as the old saying goes, "bad things happen when good people do nothing".
Am I getting too cynical, too early in my fledgling ministry? If so, is it justified? And if so, how does one change this (without dishing out the palliatives)?
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