21 September 2013

So Sorry...

Wow, it has been a long time.  I apologize, but my job description changed this summer, turning me from the contemplative senior preacher into the managerial senior minister.  Lots more time in the office working with people and projects. Lots less time writing and pondering. This is not my comfort zone, but you may have noticed as I have that most insight and growth come from being outside that zone. 

When we had a staff crisis this past spring, the best path for the church was this one even though it was not the one I preferred.  But leadership means doing the right thing for the organization even if it is not to your personal advantage.  At least so it seems to me.  One cost has been having the time to do this along with the sermon preparation that is still part of my job. 

This explains why I have had so little time to write this blog.  Well, it is at least part of the explanation.  I should also note my other experiment.  I have a second radio program in development, an hour long interview show, "In Depth," at the same station where I do call-in every Friday on "Faith and Reason" - WPRR here in Grand Rapids.  You can find it at www.publicrealityradio.org Sometime soon it will be available, after I get a few more shows recorded.  Also a venture out of my comfort zone, but in a different way.

But I have something more than an apology for you.  The House kidnapping of the ACA infuriated me.  So I am writing my Rep in Congress.  My intent was to send the same note to all the Michigan Reps but the House website system only allows those in district to send email.  I am now doubly infuriated.  Reps are now able to filter out all but their own constituents - and lobbyists of course. 

I may now call some, as my members live in more than one district, and I sit on the board of the West Michigan Urban League.  But I urge you to send something to your Reps.  Here is what I sent, which you may freely borrow if it helps.  If you don't then Speaker Boehner will have no reason to doubt that he and his colleagues speak for the American people.  As someone else said, 'silence + assent.'

"Dear Representative,

I write to express my profound disappointment in the decision to yoke the debt ceiling to defunding the ACA.   I know my words will not change your mind, which is all the more dismaying, as you were elected to represent all the people in your district not just those who share your views. 

But you need to know that there are many, I among them, who believe the ACA, imperfect as it may be, is better than the current health care insurance system.  Defunding it will only produce more uncertainty and the likelihood that we will pay more and more for less and less. 
Using the debt ceiling to accomplish an ideological goal amounts to a political kidnapping, threatening to ‘kill’ the economy to get your way.  People have lost most of their respect for Congress precisely because of such myopic and dogmatic actions. 

Speaker Boehner may say the American People support you, but I am not one of them.  You need to know this because it is our lives that will pay the price for your decision.   
Rev. Dr. W. Frederick Wooden,Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids MI
Chair of the Board, Grand Rapids Urban League

2 comments:

donna said...

I am sorry as well. For it is our loss, the congregation, as your sermons are stirring, inviting, touching, heartfelt and yummy. Isn't yummy a strange compliment? Very late at night and I am sure that I eat up the words and ideas you cast out. So yummy it is for this comment. What can a short congregant do to assist in the management/administration of FSC? I cannot give a sermon, so I am curious about doing what I did in my career. If this is not possible, then you have my sorrow (it does indeed float) that sermons are encroached upon and minimized by your other responsibilities. Donna

donna said...

Also, why do institutions try to make managers out of the very best and most creative staff (ministers)? I worked with psychiatrists who were given management responsibility. A giant mistake and loss of their expertise, while diminishing their interest in their work. Make an artist the curator of an art institute, get a mediocre curator and lose a splendid artist. By the way, I am sure you are not a mediocre manager. But you are a wonderful sermon-delivering minister. 'Tis a shame.