Saturday, June 19, 2010

ANchored or at sea?

As I think through tomorrow's sermon a number of questions come to mind:
  1. when and why is it important to be anchored?
  2. when and why is it important to go whither the wind takes you
  3. when and why is it a hindrance to be anchored
  4. when and why is it a problem to be blown around
  5. what is the balance point/how is the balance point defined
You see I firmly believe that it is not a question of anchored or sailing with the wind being the one best answer.  There is value to both, and danger to both. 

At the same time I also firmly believe the there is something about human organizations that tends towards an overemphasis on being anchored, and so often the task of leadership is to encourage the raising of the sail.

But it can be so hard to find (and agree on) the balance point.  All the more so since it moves around with time and circumstance.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


In preparation for moving I have been working on getting utilities lined up (thinking it would be nice to have heat, power, water, phone, internet and TV).  And what has struck me each time is how remarkably difficult it is to find contact info on the relevant websites.

In the easiest case it was still a matter of at least 5 links to get the contact info I thought would be right.  (although to give them credit the water and the gas/power folks got back to me promptly and once I made contact it was very straightforward.)

What is most remarkable is that the telecommmunication folks are impossible to get to.  The cable website gives little detailed information about packages or pricing.  ANd the first time I used their web-contact form asking about information that wasn't on the website the response directed me to the website which would answer the question (I asked about stand alone TV and the response directed me to look at bundle pricing)

THe phone company (which may also be internet and TV, depending what answers I finally get) was spectacularly bad.  The website kept giving me a phone number that was only accessible in-province (I guess they have no new customers moving in from out-of-province???) and it took 30 minutes of exploring the website and using the chat function to get a number I could call since the website was not giving me the information I needed -- and even then I had to ask teh chat tech at least twice for a number that was going to work out-of-province.  THen tonight I called that number.  AFter 5 minutes of voice mail round-abouting I got to a live person.  A live person who started by asking if I knew the current phone number at that address (just after I said I was buying a house and moving to town) and then procedded to tell me, not what was available but what was currently hooked up there.

In the end the phone company contact needed to do more research to answer one of my queries nas the info at his terminal was indeterminate, whihc is fine.  But it shouldnt have taken so much effort to get to that point.  Isn't a better service model to make it easy for prospective customers to find out how to get hold of you?  All the more so if you are a communication company??

But then I started to wonder.  Are we in the church that much better?  How do we make communication difficult?  Where do we make information about who we are hard to find?  What assumptions do we make about who might want to learn about us?  Do we do a great job of communicating all the time?

What rants are written about our churches style of communicating?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A SOng of Hope

Tomorrow we as a faith community celebrate the 85th annniversary of the United Church of Canada.  Although this piece was written for Hannukkah I think it speaks to our future as a denomination.  I plan to use it for special music (and it is hard to go wrong with Peter, Paul, and Mary)...