“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Saturday, August 16, 2008

To Survey, or Not to Survey … What, Still More Questions?

Mr. Kastanis is clearly a keen observer of the ongoing absurdity we keep witnessing. Does it not seem obvious that this survey is redundant? We've heard several complaints, along with those of Mr. Kastanis, that it is also a bit selective. Several paid members did not receive this survey. (They have however, received festival tickets to buy and sell. As one member put it, "... they are unwilling to solicit my opinion but are happy to solicit my money.") In many cases, one survey came addressed to "Mr. and Mrs.", assuming that both parties have EXACTLY the same opinion?

And, once again, our intelligence is insulted in that the survey begins with the constant excuse that our "leaders" accept as GIVEN that they can have no say as to the clergy’s actions. The root of our problems begins here. It is not about what they "can't do"; it is about what they "won't do." The expulsion of a previous board, and one of a more recent member, has provided the requisite "scare" needed to induce this board, when facing ongoing clerical abuses, to cave.

Let's get real here, please: surely, most parish council members are fairly aware who attends what, who belongs to which group, and ought to have a fair idea as to who has paid how much over the years. They are also aware why many people have stopped giving as generously.

The majority of questions this latest survey asks have already been answered. No doubt many such answers appeared on the "comments" section of the "split" survey. (Those have never been made public by the way.) The tone, tenor and VOTES of the previous assemblies make it abundantly clear that there is deep dissatisfaction in this community. And falling revenues cannot be explained solely by a withering economy.

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