Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Why don't people RSVP. I invited a bunch of pastors from my own denomination to my church for a morning of Bible Study, Fellowship, and Worship with Holy Communion. I asked them to let me know if they would be coming. A few sent their regrets but encouraged me to hold another gathering in the future. Some said they would come and most of those actually showed up. Most of those invited didn't bother to reply.

I had no idea how many would come so I made a perk with 24 cups of coffee, bought a carton each of lemonade and iced tea, cut up a coffee cake, prepared a worship service (today is Holy Cross Day), bought a freshly baked loaf of sunflower rye bread for Communion, and waited. Well, out of 25 invitees, 3 showed up.

We read and discussed 1 Corinthians 1.18-24, had some nice fellowship together, and ended by going into the church and sharing the Lord's Supper.

I was frustrated and disappointed. Some had valid reasons for being away and they let me know about them. One pastor who sent his regrets wrote,

Even if only a few gather, I encourage your action of bringing the clergy together and hope you will strive to establish a sense of “family” within our Conference. I have concluded that our denomination is in danger of self destruction, not caused by issues, but, by the growing sense of separation from one another.

We no longer care for, or are interested in each other. The rim has come off the wheel. While it would be easy to blame the lack of leadership direction and vision, I think it is much more fundamental. We are adrift because too many are paddling their own canoe with only the like minded in the boat. While one group calls the others "crazies," the other calls the other "heretics." We have stopped talking and have circled the wagons in different circles.

A gathering such as you have called is a mental health opportunity. However to unburden my soul I must know and trust my fellow clergy. Keep drawing us together. Unity can not be created by ignorance.
He's a retired pastor and I'll take what he says as wisdom from one who has seen a lot and been through a lot. I guess I just have to not give up. The three who came thanked me greatly for inviting them and planning the morning. That's encouraging anyway.



Detail Boi said...

Don't give up on this. You should plan these things on a regular basis, and keep inviting them to come. Maybe the others will eventually join in planning a gathering at their church too.

This type of thing happens in all areas of life. I find that happening with friends too. Nobody wants to start the ball rolling on anything, and you have to take the initiative to go forward.

It may be slow at the beginning, but it could also turn into something big in the future.

Don't get aggravated... don't be disappointed that it didn't turn out the way you had envisioned... be thankful with the way it turned out.


Tom in Ontario said...

One guy showed up a day late. Today I received a letter from another who said he fell and hurt his back so he couldn't come. I got another email today from another who apologized. There's still a whole bunch who didn't even bother to send their regrets.

I'm not going to quit planning these but it's a discouraging start.