So I've spent the weekend at the annual gathering of the Association of Conference Directors of Lay Speaking Ministries. I was invited here to offer what I presented to those of you who attended emergingumc2. I added a section to this identifying how lay speakers and these directors (who have access to bishops I do not have) can be vital partners in restoring missional Methodism. And these folks really get it and got it. So the first thing I want to share here is an invitation for those of you on this missional journey to contact your own Annual Conference Director of Lay Speaking Ministries and see how you and they and other lay speakers can be partners in the recovery we seek.
I don't wear a watch. (Not a complete non-sequitur!) So when I'm doing sermons or presentations I rely on my cell phone to keep track of time. And my cell scrolls headlines from the RSS feeds I follow there (mostly science and technology plus world news and UMNS) I saw a headline that intrigued me.... about Rotten Ice.
I clicked to see what this was. Here's the link: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121164011.htm
(I'm typing this from my cell so I can't format that to click-- so copy and paste in your browser to view, or click the link in the #emergingumc feed on Twitter).
I read this and saw immediate applications to what we've been talking about. Uniformity in temperature is what causes rotten ice. From a family systems theory approach, a lot of what weLve been talking about would be described as self-differentiation and re-connection. So in what we discussed, when congregations do what congregations do AND missional groups do what missional groups do AND there's good communication between them you get lasting and resilient ice. But if you try to cram all those functions equally onto on structure (congreg OR missional group) you get rotten ice. From a distance scientists thought the ice was thick But up close it was clearly rotten ice.
I think this story is rich in analogies. What else do you see?