Preparing for Annual Meeting Part 3: Many Layers

We’ve been discussing in the last weeks how things are rarely as simple as they seem. In most instances, there are hidden layers of depth and complexity to most things. Annual Meeting is no different. Here’s a quick example of all the different ways that Annual Meeting functions:

Simple Meeting: This is how we all want the meeting to work. Very simple, very linear, very neat. There will be an agenda, we will follow it, we will go home. Simple. That’s exactly what will happen.

Complicated Meeting: Although, while we are tackling the items on the agenda, there will most likely be a few questions and decisions we need to work through together. Our Church Officers and Committees have worked hard for the last year to do their best job of discerning around major issues for our community and making the best decisions they could. Once a year, they ask for our entire church to provide input in the forms of conversation and voting. Working together can be a little complicated…there can be a few different options for how to proceed. This will happen on Sunday.

Complex Meeting: The more variables you add to any system—the number of people, the years of history, the random events of a day, the needs of a given season or year—the more complex the whole thing becomes. With a complex system—and churches are certainly a good example of complex systems—every gathering we have will change with the people who are in the room. All of us bring our own desires, agendas, hopes, dreams, expectations and histories…so we trust that everyone will bring what they have, together we will find all that we need, and whatever happens in the meeting is exactly what needs to happen in the meeting. This could mean detours and explanations, it could mean sharing stories and calling for action, it could mean learning about what is happening in the lives of our neighbors and how God is calling us to be present in the world in the coming year. This will also definitely happen on Sunday. I expect it will be fun.

We know it’s School Vacation Week, we know that you have many things going on in your life, we know that life is hectic enough without taking on an extra hour-long meeting on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. But we hope that if you are in town, you will find your way over to the Parish House this Sunday, February 24, at 11:15a.m. so that you can share in the joy and responsibility of being community together. The simplest thing you can do is show up…and we would treasure whatever complexity your presence brings…so that we can work together to plan for our year ahead. See you there?

Brian Gruhn