Wednesday, February 3, 2010


What I like about being a Presbyterian is the connectionalism. I love that there is support out there for us. I like that there is guidance and discipline. I like that there are boundaries. Most of all I like the connections. I'm an introvert and so having a structure for me to make friends in is good for me. And that's what I find missing in my presbytery. It is dysfunction. There are no committees beyond the required ones. I actually am on one of the required committees but the moderator manages not to notify me of meetings. (There is a different excuse each time. Mostly he can't seem to get my email address right, doesn't notice that the email gets bounced back and doesn't care. The fact that it's Bills and Overtures and I'm the only lefty on the committee may be a part of it.) Meetings are dreadful. Boring. In other presbyteries, there was always the carrot of seeing friends, of making new connections, of being involved in creative endeavors. Perhaps that one of the things I miss most: being part of a creative team.

What I like about the web is the connectionalism. I've met people blogging, reconnected with old friends, made new friends. But the web misses the human touch of sitting across the table from someone sharing a meal. It misses having coffee with someone. It misses the long wandering two way conversation. It's cold. Human touch is warm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Joan,

Lest I turn into the ultimate cynic, think - just think about why it is that our system - and the people who populate it - in this place, at this time - make the choice to be disconnected.

Is it that people and the pieces of institutions they represent choose isolationism because of the darkness that has shrouded this particular place? Issues of injustice that were once overt - now are so covert - that it stings when one unexpectedly runs into it? So the easier choice is to flee like Jonah?

I find myself wavering between the "Kathleen Norris like" acedic or the angry and lamentable charge against me - "she's too flippant." But my wavering might be rooted in some sinful self-reliance and self-confidence.

I turn for connection to the larger institution - beyond this particular place, in this particular time - but not exclusively. I do seek connection here - but those connections are born in shared experience - namely getting together with those who have been marginalized in this particular location - in some ways, those who have made choices not to be boxed in by the institution as it exists in current form. Really ... some who have said, "I'm not fleeing - but I'm going to play by different playground rules and stand and face the present darkness."

That's where connection happens - where two truly are better than one.

Until another connecting point,

The Acedic