“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, October 18, 2008

Embracing an Upcoming Opportunity

We have an opportunity this Monday, October 20th, to turn a corner and put our community back on the right path.

A special general assembly has been called to discuss the distribution of this year's festival funds due to the community's dismal financial condition. Taking whatever monies remain from this year's festival is an easy fix, yet it does not address the ongoing problem.

We will be able to turn this corner if the current regime is willing to provide pertinent information that each member of this community has the legal, as well as moral, right to see.

Are they willing to provide:

  • copies of the detailed registers of all accounts so the stewards can review the actual income and expenses?

  • a detailed accounting of all festival expenses with copies of all invoices?

  • honest answers to difficult questions instead of the standard "it's a bad economy"?

  • a forum for an open and honest discussion, along with a willingness to hear the voice of the people, to take suggestions and to seriously consider their implementation without reprisal?

  • an environment where the people are part of the long-term solution, and not solely seen as human ATMs?

A good first step toward moving forward is complete honesty and transparency. This decision must not be made with partial information, and under the specter of "confidentiality agreements." If this can't happen, we will continue down the same road, continually applying band-aids to gunshot wounds.

Let us insist that our leadership offers the people all the necessary information so that a solid decision can be made. Clearly the path we have been on has not benefited anyone. The opportunity exists, if we are forthright, honest and courageous in seeking it - and, if our leadership has the wisdom to help implement it.

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