Friday, June 5, 2009

Open Swim - I

I serve as a moderator of one of the new hip and cool Issue Advisory Groups. These are groups that advise a committee that will form a recommendation on certain, hot topics of the Synod (this year it's Communication/Herald/RCA Today & adoption of the Belhar). Our first meeting was a get-to-know-you affair. Our second was designed to address options for the future of the denomination's publication(s). What I was struck by is the fact that "there are are other people in this pool." During an open swim, anyone gets to jump in; those who like laps, those who like cannonballs, those who tread water and those who like to swim along the bottom. I have no choice but to swim along or get out of the pool.

During an open swim you get to do just about whatever you want and wherever you want. However, if you want to tread water where others are doing cannon balls, something has to give. As I listened to some of my "swimmates" I wondered about values. Not whether or not they have values, but whether or not their values are broad and varied enough (because we're in the middle of the process, I'm not sure if I can be more specific so I won't). Is communication a value worth investing in? Or, is it not a value when church multiplication is on the table? I had to wrestle with this perception of mine. I also had to wrestle with whether or not I can swim in the same pool with them? Can my desires and theirs mesh? They are certainly welcome here, but something might have to give.


  1. I'd like to remind you that there are two sides to every coin, and your side may not be the shinier one.

    Regarding your comment: "whether or not their values are broad and varied enough" - maybe your values are too broad and varied.

    Regarding your comment: "they are certainly welcome here, but something might have to give" - maybe you are the one who needs to give.

    One last thought - since you are a moderator of one of these groups, should you really be bemoaning some of those in your advisory group. I'd be pretty offended by reading your thoughts if I was one of those you have designated as "they" and "them".

  2. Aunt Lynn says: "put on your flippers and keep kicking." Lynn Berry Van Lente-Hoover

  3. David,

    I realize that I may be the one that has to give.

    Also, as far as the process is concerned, it may be a bit messy, but I am also a full delegate to synod and was encouraged to share my perspective.

    Finally, I assume you're willing to admit the same of yourself that you expect of me, correct?


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