Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Aye Aye Captain": Congregational Meeting

 A young member's experience of her first "real" congregational meeting. What doesn't get into the official notes but is more fun to remember.

6:45: Fiona and Dana debate the aesthetics of the ceiling. Tim sides with Dana. Fiona argues that there is no natural light and so it is therefore the ugliest church she's ever worshiped in. Natural wood is however a benefit.
7 pm: Dana begins taking notes on the beginning of minute taking at Oakwood's congregational meeting.
7:01 Fiona commences whispering to Dana. Janalyn asks if Fiona is being sarcastic already. "Oh no. Not quite yet" Fiona replies
7:02: Voting on the changes to last years congregational meeting notes. Several typos. Institution of Robert's Rules. Dana asks Fiona what "Robert's Rules" are. Not sufficiently explained.
7:03: All communicant members respond "aye" to a question that Dana missed. This moment is frequently repeated.
7:05: Dana notes to Fiona that she feels like a "rude young pup for finding this process bizarre."
7:15: Elder Perry notes that he is the scapegoat that goes to jail if anything is amiss.
7:16: Mark attempts to assemble a sound system. Perry's wife notes: "Perry, stop talking. You are stressing Mark out!"
7:30: Pastor Houston notes, "We have this hand out. You should have read it before you got here. I know none of you have."
7:36: Pastor Houston asks a committee leader, "So explain this work. Is it the kind of thing that eats up your time and is onerous?" Congregation laughs. Question is not answered. Implied yes?
8pm: Leader of the worship committee stands to answer questions. "Here I am. Any questions? [long awkward silence]... Good. Good. Come talk to me only if you are sure you are a skilled instrumentalist."
8:01: We applaud a faithful church volunteer. I note to Fiona how astonishing it is to hear applause in a Presbyterian sanctuary. "Only once a year," she replies.
8:13: Screaming child removed.
8:17: Linda Bonness announces that a new church ministry will include arranged marriages along with arranged wedding showers.
8:45: Janalyn Sheetz is seen to be knitting a complicated piece. Dana admires for extended period of time.
8:46: Someone suggests that Bill Bonness sing the budget report to make it more interesting.
9:05: Dana realizes she has lost track of time.
9:20: Personal angry moment. At least one is required to meet congregational meeting quota, right?
9:21: Fiona says its okay.
9:30: Fading begins. Fiona begins texting.
9:48: Alcohol gift to a retiring elder. Dana is jealous, but glad that Presbyterians delight in good drink.
9:50: Hymn. Dana exists.

Addendum to the minutes: All these minutes are falsified with the events. Please note this in next year's addendum minutes. Thank you.


Sarah said...

I would like to ask one question and leave a comment:

What was Janalyn working on?

You now can understand the beginnings of my thoughts on the Oakwood ceiling.

Fiona said...

Was I really so badly behaved??

dana said...

Sarah, I have no idea but it was pretty!

Fiona... I used you as a scapegoat for my own bad behavior. And I sat next to you so I recorded it all. If anyone else had been so unfortunate, they would have been marked down too! ;-)