WormTape on Facebook #1
The following conversation took place on a lovely spring day outside of the offices of a certain church board. These comments were later posted on various Facebook pages. Hard to believe? Just wait.
Lisa: “Wow! I’ve been here 18 years and never seen the security like this. ‘Code Red’ is now in place to keep any of the Grand Plan handouts from falling into hands of folks in local churches. Imagine if ruling elders or deacons got wind of this, especially with some bosses and CEOs favoring the elimination of deacons entirely in order to make room for us girls.”
Sally Mae: “You’re not kidding. My boss looked like he drank a whole carton of Keurig coffees. He’s as jittery as a cat, afraid that word might get out.”
JoAnn [entering]: “Yeah, at one committee meeting, they even numbered the copies of the proposal to take over the assembly so as to make sure that all were returned. Hate to let the word get out too soon. If folks get the information, why, that could disrupt the Grand Plan.”
Boss: “Hi girls; I’m such a sensitive guy that I’m in there doing my best to get you little gals a seat at the table, or at least at the second table. All the CEOs and agency folks, of course, are at the first table. How do you like the product in my new hair-do?”
Sally Mae: “You are so visionary, so in touch. Seriously, it was time for the comb-over to go. You are relevant now, and it’s a real shame that all those folks from churches think they know as much about how the church should be run as does our College of Coordinators.”
Boss: “Yup; everybody’s an expert. When will they ever learn that Coordinators know best?! What would really wreck things for us is if those hardline conservatives or nonFeminist women were represented with seats at the table. Just one or two on a committee spells disaster.
Emergent Coolio #1: “What we need is a zone for intellectual freedom—no more of this constraint, like being bound by the old Eurocentric standards.”
Boss: “Yes, if we don’t change our strategy soon, we’ll never attract the Next Gen, Skateboarders, or more artists. Shirley, could you warm up my a coffee, sweetie?”
Pauly D: “We need to acknowledge the messiness of our lives and embrace all the chaos. Instead of missional, we need to move ahead to being Messi-nal.”
Post Emergent, De-churched Guy: “Dude, anyone here have a Christian Liberty doobie”?
Boss: “I think the new proposals for ‘safe speech’ will allow us to talk about all those issues that you youngsters discuss and never be held accountable. No reprisals. I can finally say what I want and call ol-what’s-his-name what he really deserves to be called. ‘Safe Speech’ trumps.”
Barak O: “You’re right; once you take over the seats at the table—with your folks, the young, dechurched, and restless—you can lead wherever you want to go. And as I’ve found out: forget what the majority want and bend the rules to take over as you see fit. That’s real leadership. Constitutionalism is for Pharisees and Older Brothers. Yes, we can! Yes we can! Forget the rules; they were made to be broken—just like all of us are. And messy.”
Lisa: “Really? I thought in Presbyterianism, the elders were all equal.”
Boss: “Some more equal than others, Sugar pie. That’s why we want to restructure the assembly and leave the non-paying equals out. No more freeloading: they either fund our program or stay home, especially those smaller churches that are filled with sticklers.”
Lisa: “Is that how you hope to have fewer churches control matters and leave the grass roots out?”
De-churched Dude: “I’m not only for more seats for the de-churched who are on a journey, but I’ve now formed a ministry called ‘The De-Journeyed: The next generation of goatees, piercings, and tats.’ We’d like 5 seats at the table.”
Wm F Berkeley: “Could we have any seats at the table? Or do you just want our money? And maybe if you’re not being funded or supported, do you ever ask if your program may not be out-of-touch?”
Boss: “Oh no, we’ve already given those seats to the seminary and the college. They’re the experts—our experts. Did you see how many different committees their CEOs will be on after the Grand Plan is adopted?! Cool, huh. Their president will be on a bunch of committees.”
ForTheCity: “Cool” is so 60s. Can we catch up a little so that we’ll be more relevant? How else will we reach all the left-handed sculptors, pro-bono poets, and blue-eyed reggae players?”
Seminary Rep: “Well, I’m for servant leadership (hold the servant). Ha. Ha. Why, we should be able to blow this through the next caucus with no one looking. How’s my tie look? We’ll pony up a lot of big names and CEOs from various branches, and no one—except the few traditionalists—will even notice. We have even co-opted some of their guys. Plus, folks forget a lot of history in a hurry. Takes only about 35 years or less.”
Coordinator: “Let’s ram these through the Admin Committee—we’ll pack our guys and avoid those sticky constitutional amendments.”
Dude 2: “I want 7 seats at the table for those who are reaching out to the transgendered. You guys have no idea about that mission field.”
Boss: “Wanna bet. Uhm, I mean, there aren’t even 7 of those in our churches; why 7 seats?”
Dude 2: “In case we need them; plus, we’ll back whatever the President says.”
Seminary Rep: “That’s perf. Anyone need LadyGa Ga tickets? We need to exegete the culture. Po-po-po-po-poker Face.”
Dude 3: “And meet at Starbux instead of stuffy churches. Look at the De-journeyed, the de-churched, and the de-pressed. They are the future.”
Sawyer: “This is really a power grab, a takeover of denominational power. Let’s call it what it is! See, I can now say that thanks to ‘safe speech.’ Plus, the ideas of these bureaucrats are just whimpy and girlie. ‘Safe Speech.’ A lot of our leaders would rather whine about being ‘burned’ than man up. ‘Safe speech.’
Barak O: “Like I said: forget what the majority want—especially disregard their mindless satisfaction with the status quo—and give speeches on this, add big names, and you can take over this church. It’s been done before, you know.”
Prez: “Yeah, we could take some pages from the playbook at other colleges. Let’s have our schools and agencies lean only to the left all the time. And in a generation, we can catch—maybe pass—the other fundamentalist colleges that once boasted of being evangelical.”
Sawyer: “Yes, you are left-leaning, hiding behind a complimentarianism that walks like, quacks like, and waddles like an egalitarian duck. Oops, ‘safe speech’ again. No one can cwiticize me or huht my widdle, bitty, baby feewings under the new ‘safe speech’ code.”
Lisa: “Looks like we already have a bunch of women leaders. Somebody should write a book like the prophet said and call it: How the Gold has become Dim! Maybe ‘safe speech’ zones, pay-to-play fines, more diversity at the table, more seats for women, minorities, and puppies, along with extra seats for those already entrenched-in-power-with-great-mediocrity would be better left outside the church. I think I agree with Sawyer that the Cooperative Ministries Grand Council really is looking like a vehicle from the liberalizing of southern Presbyterianism. ‘Safe Speech.’ Wow, it’s liberating for a woman to be able to call a gelding a gelding. And there are more like us than my bosses think. Major miscalculation.
CEOs (with a collective Harrumpph): Make sure she gets her resume’ ready. We can’t allow this kind of talk to go on. A woman who thinks unlike us or for herself could be real trouble around here.
WormTape is a satirist and a member of the Presbyterian Church in America.