“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 4, 2008

Special General Assembly - October 20

Information cards announcing the upcoming Special General Assembly have been mailed and delivered to our homes. The single item on the agenda is the "Designation of Festival 2008 Proceeds." On August 19, 2008, a letter was authored by the Parish Council and subsequently mailed to the community bemoaning our desperate financial condition. In this letter the Parish Council says it "will call for a Special General Assembly in October to specifically deal with our financial condition." What exactly is the agenda?

If the predominate thinking is that the solution to our "financial condition" is to take the proceeds of the 2008 festival and summarily dump them into the general account, think again. The lack of financial support is the result of the problem. The problem is the continued displeasure of the people. If we only look at the past year we see the following:

  • Late 2007 survey mailed with the promise that comments made would be published. To date, no comments from that survey have been made public. An idea: Look at those comments and maybe the reasons for the displeasure of the people will be ascertained.

  • Three members of the community were denied running for the parish council without valid reason except maybe they were perceived as not being blind followers.

  • Another survey - this one carefully worded so as to not solicit the same problem exposing comments as the first - since its mailing no further mention has been made.

  • The mysterious resolution of the Metropolis of Denver placed on the agenda at the recent Clergy Laity conference in Washington D.C. which specifically refers to the splitting of this community. Mysterious because although this community had representatives at the Oklahoma City conference that made the resolution, none of them know anything about it.

  • At a recent parish council meeting, the proistameno of Prophet Elias only made the bold statement that he had informed a member of this community that they would be denied candidacy for the parish council because they had written letters on "the blog." Heavy handed authoritarian techniques continue and the silencing of the people is the mark of success. For the record, TOCB spoke with the individual in question and we were told no such conversation has taken place.

Therein lie some of the problems. The end result is the "financial condition" of our community. Allocating the festival proceeds to the general fund is not the solution. The solution calls for first, reevaluating the budget and making serious cuts across the board and second, listening to the voice of the people instead of trying to silence it. See you all on the 20th.

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