Monday, June 26, 2006

Re Cap of ABC General Executive Council Meetings

Today the upper management of the ABC, known as the General Executive Council (GEC) gathered for their normal sessions following the General Board meetings of the last five days. What did they accomplish? Early reports are sketchy, but here are a couple of bullets worth thinking about (drawn from both the GB and GEC) that you probably will not read in the American Baptist News Service . . .

* The General Board heard a report from the Budget Review Officer, Lloyd Hamblin, who gave them a very dark picture of the finances of the ABC. After receiving the report, the body moved on to the next agenda item as if they had just heard news of a room change for the next session. One participant commented that either the level of denial was too seductive or they just do not care any longer. (I vote for denial. My experience is that most GB and GEC members care passionately about the ABC).

* The GEC members spent a good bit of their time discussing the various alternatives for restructuring of the denomination. With the assistance of consultant Trisha Jones, a list was constructed with all of the advantages and disadvantages of the varying proposals.

Again, you will probably find leaders who speak positively of the experience. However, one member of the GEC told me: "Nothing was accomplished of any substance other than there are more of the execs beginning to think that structure will not fix anything. Some are losing any hope of a magic fix that will save the ABC, more and more talk about how to separate peacefully."

Doubtless there will be more information flowing from the meetings in the coming days. These are early reports which are based upon a very partial sampling of those in attendance.

[His Barking Dog keeps his ear to the rails as a lone listener trying to hear the news of importance without getting run over by the passing train. Please do not misinterpret my writings as speaking for ANY group, body, or clique of official engineers or conductors. I'm just the guy who puts the penny on the tracks.]


Amill-Presup said...
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Amill-Presup said...

The giddiness in your voice while you relate this horrible news makes me want to puke.

Dennis E. McFadden said...

"Giddiness"??? I realize that one of the disadvantages of e-mail and blogs is the disembodied nature of the medium. But, since you don't know me, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Giddiness was the LEAST likely emotion I was feeling while writing. This past year has been one of loss, grief, and painful separation for me. There have been precious few laughs anywhere.

My first paragraph included a sincere feeling that the people I know in the GB and GEC are passionate about the denomination. I disagree with my source on the characterization that they did not care.

As to the second quote, I included it with all of the provisional proviso language of "doubtless there will be more information flowing from the meetings" and that "these are early reports" "based upon a very partial sampling of those in attendance."

How you get giddiness out of that is beyond me. I'm sorry my writing has an emetic affect upon you. Perhaps if the condition persists you should see a physician or avoid reading my stuff.

Amill-Presup said...

I get it from a loooong time of reading your blog fairly regularly.

You don't want the awful, liberal, outdated ABC to survive without you.

Everyone I know who reads your blog can see this as clear as day.

Dennis E. McFadden said...
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Dennis E. McFadden said...

Actually, if you have been reading my blog for a loooong time, then you should know that my position is more appropriately captured by the following image:

"I fear that we are falling from a burning plane, tangled up in the parachute cords with our liberal friends and fellow passengers. Unless we push away from each other, neither of us will survive the fall."

My argument is that BOTH the left and the right will do MUCH better in separate organizations, freed from the enervating effects of all of this wrangling over secondary issues.

If you ever care to slip out from behind the cloak of anonymity, I would love to carry on the dialogue more adequately.

BTW, since I do not believe this blog has that great of a readership, your claim that "Everyone I know who reads your blog can see this as clear as day" must be a pretty select group. Meet in a telephone booth do you?

[editorial note: no giddiness, just sarcasm]