I finished up all the talks, and was ready to make the covenant this past week, but the local leader told me Mike was concerned with whether or not I trusted leadership. Names were brought up in this conversation, so I knew what this was about. I also knew it wasn't easy. Leadership had made mistakes and hurt people. Then, to top it all off, Mike gave a talk about not complaining. I talked to him after the talk and basically told him this wasn't good. I went over what I knew. I didn't know everything, but I knew it wasn't good. Subsequent events suggested other people in People of Praise get their point across by not participating. There was a summer when they had plenty of teens for projects, but not enough adults around to supervise. Personally, if I were in a leadership position, I'd prefer complaining. In fact, instead of giving a talk about not complaining, I would have been apologizing and promising things would be better next year. I'd probably even trying to get commitments from people that day to come back.
So, here was the local leader telling me this discussion I had with Mike was about to come up again.
But Mike came down for a wedding and during the reception he asked me if I was going to the retreat. He knows I don't go to these retreats; I haven't gone in years. I realized, probably two years after going on a diet, that I needed to just stop eating certain things completely. There's plenty of wheat and soy in everything at this place. Anyway, Mike said if I don't go on the retreat he doesn't think he can let me make the covenant.
This is classic crap, baby boomer leadership.
If I am not careful about what I eat- and lately even if I am- I suffer. I expected some sort of conversation, probably a sit down, but no attempt was made, and that Sunday, I was busy suffering. Now my guts, and my 'friends' may betray me, but my mind does not. Mike didn't want to have a conversation. He just wanted to shut me out, and this was an easy way to do it. Most of the covenant talks were given to me after I stopped going to the retreat. There was no indication that this was an issue until Mike grabbed at it in desperation to do what People of Praise has come to do best: make up a story.
You tell yourselves stories, but how many people- how many of your own children for that matter, must present you with existential proof that your stories are lies before you stop?
I don't see where you are going. You seem committed to an evangelism that would look remarkably like an algae bloom should anyone actually respond to it- algae blooms are fast growth and then die off quickly. Where is the ecology? Don't get me wrong, I know there are people trying for something more stable. I just seriously doubt you are capable of listening to them. In the larger world the baby boomer generation is primarily responsible for our QE infinity- in other words, the constant attempt to manufacture economic growth by increasing the money supply. Sooner or later, it will become apparent that, regardless of money supply, we have no real economy. Guess what? I think a similar thing will happen to People of Praise as well. I was hoping to help, if it ever dawned on you that you needed help, and I was content to do rather mundane things in the branch in the meanwhile, but I suppose you really do have to cut your nose off to spite your face after all.