Please forgive RantWoman.
Besides reindeer droppings for the spiritual compost heap, Epiphany brings what, camel dung delivered by wise folk and cantankerous beasts?
The short version: RantWoman is so unbelievably happy that the announcements on the whiteboard policy fell FLAT and splattered howls of protest from a large number of people all over everyone that she can hardly contain herself.
The long version RantWoman leaves to others imagination. Among other colorful streaks one about "well if you do everything you can to avoid RantWoman's point of view, then knock yourselves out. RantWoman is not even going to try to save you from yourselves and RantWoman is SO GLAD there were MULTIPLE other vigorous complaints and it was NOT just "poor implementation" and in particular someone else on RantWoman's list of people struggling with vision issues reportedly complained about exactly the same whiteboard accessibility points as some of the things on RantWoman's list. RantWoman abounds in morbid curiosity and would be interested to hear what other reasons people cited for hating the policy.
(RantWoman was away on November 2. So was the clerk of the committee perpetrating the outrage. RantWoman has heard that the introduction did not go well!)
From the November 9, 2014 bulletin:
In hopes of helping to extend the grace and Light that rises during our hour of worship, your [Mine? Not so I had noticed! Look, RantWoman has stood aside from the Worship and Ministry Roster for three years running over serious issues of Silencing. Silencing of the form "RantWoman we don't understand, we are really reluctant to try to learn, and wouldn't you please just go away?" Why the HELL does anyone think RantWoman would trust a member of Worship and Ministry to either write down her concerns or read back others' concerns accurately?!!!!] Worship & Ministry committee is experimenting with a simpler close to 11:00 worship. Rather than sharing late-breaking announcements aloud at the close of worship, anyone needing to make an announcement is encouraged to write it on the wipe-erase board outside the worship room, which will be available starting at 10:50 on non-business mtg Sundays. The person who closes worship will be available to read aloud (or transcribe) any messages as needed. We plan to give this a try for a couple months, and see how it goes. Feedback is welcomed. Questions/concerns: contact the clerk of Worship & Ministry,
Message via RantWoman during Concerns in Meeting for Business: If you think you are making a reasonable accommodation for someone, would you please consider whether the people you mean to accommodate consider the measure you propose reasonable and accommodating. RantWoman considers the write messages on whiteboard process neither reasonable nor accommodating.
RantWoman stopped and did not provide details. No one asked either.
From the November 16, 2014 Bulletin, which also contained an invitation to a mulching party. Rantwoman might have reread her electronic copy of the bulletin to remember this but did not want her screen reader to squawk and hates earphones.
In hopes of helping to extend the grace and Light that rises during our hour of worship, your (mine?) Worship & Ministry committee is experimenting with a simpler close to 11:00 worship. Rather than sharing late-breaking announcements aloud at the close of worship, anyone needing to make an announcement is encouraged to write it on the wipe-erase board outside the worship room, which will be available starting at 10:50 on non-business mtg Sundays. The person who closes worship will be available to read aloud (or transcribe) any messages as needed. We plan to give this a try for a couple months, and see how it goes. Feedback is welcomed. Questions/concerns: Clerk Worship & Ministry,
(Over the week: thoughtful comments from one Worship and Ministry member
--Return slowly to regular life as Meeting rises
--testing something new to think about why instead of assuming "we always do..."_
(and RantWoman, I resonate with your concern about not assuming everyone thinks the same way but I do not know what to do about it....)
Comments from a RantWoman email:
--Thank you for your thoughts about the white board. I hate it on somany grounds that you deserve not to have to handle my comments alone. I will probably start with my blog. But a couple thoughts:
--I love having the kids come it toward the end of worship.
--I love it when one of the kids has something to say from First Day school.
--I am not sure that current kid practices give kids enough practice centering and working with what happens as one learns to do something better. I was seasoning a message Sunday about Meeting for
worship being a place we all grow as individuals and also as a community but it did not make it out of my mouth with everything else that came up.
--The cello concert in October was interesting on the kid front: we had child care and some kids did go there but several kids stayed the whole concert and were really into the music, not unreasonable about snacks, and generally a nice presence. I would love to know whether anyone besides me considers that a worthy vision for Meeting for Worship.
--I recognize that kid sonic free for all is one indicator that adults are going on too long about announcements. AND I wish there were some willingness to work with the "One person talks at atime" rule. But I could also get interested in a playground whistle, a bell, rousing singing, and various other approaches.
(RantWoman, in search of, um, thoughtful elders, also consulted the Association of Bad Friends on Facebook. The truly BAD Friends suggested, instead of the playground whistle, kazoos, hard and soft sticky candy, and whoopie cushions. So much for the Bad Friends.)
--Some people seem eager to zoom out and drink the coffee but not eager to hear the announcement about signing up to make it, never mind other issues of delivery.
--I am a big giant flake, Even if someone sent me email about the spreading wood ship party, getting reminded of the event and where to find it would help me be more motivated to participate.
--Generic rally: cause to be announced, Westlake 2 pm. This and my badly seasoned P&SC minutes are part of my people wearing too many hats and losing the sense of spiritual center concern.
Other indicators that worship is well held: this past Sunday was LOVELY. LOTS of clumps of people lingered in the WR even after we broke worship, and this in spite of a couple announcements that for good reason bypassed the white board.
From the November 23, 2014 bulletin:
• In hopes of helping to extend the grace and Light that rises during our hour of worship, your Worship & Ministry committee is experimenting with a simpler close to 11:00 worship. Rather than sharing late-breaking announcements aloud at the close of worship, anyone needing to make an announcement is encouraged to write it on the wipe-erase board outside the worship room, which will be available starting at 10:50 on non-business mtg Sundays. The person who closes worship will be available to read aloud (or transcribe) any messages as needed. We plan to give this a try for a couple months, and see how it goes. Feedback is welcomed. Questions/concerns: Clerk, Worship & Ministry,
from email on November 24
The Gospel according to RantWoman, of broader interest:
but I also tried to explain to him that even getting
the announcement made means people care.
Mostly the rest is not about the Friend above . For now it is hold in the
Light material. If everyone else in the whole Meeting is thrilled with
the whiteboard, I will cope. If the clerk W&M is deluged by other emails and
concerns, I hope she will decide quickly to try something else.
See the announcements on whiteboard practice deeply offends me on so
many grounds that I am trying to deal with one bite at a time.
--It matters when the whole room hears the same announcement, and even
more if only one voice is talking at a time rather than general hubbub
from someone trying to read the whiteboard in a crowd. I cannot always
see who else reacts to something but often I can hear that there is
reaction. In the case of the Friend above I know where people tend to sit and
who is likely to have any capacity to help him. And I am darn
sure I know that better than some members of Worship and Ministry. So
hearing from various places in the room means I know others in the
community are connected too. But hearing the voice of the person the
announcement belongs to helps me find that person to talk directly to
--I need to have a full--blown tirade about "if you are trying to do a
reasonable accommodation, please be sure the person you are trying to
accommodate considers your effort either reasonable or accommodating."
But W&M has to wait in line behind Microsoft and a class full of
design students at the UW I school for elaboration about what is on my
--And I get to be REALLY insistent because of getting thrown off W&M
and nominating committee not even talking to me so I feel so shut out
of a process that I am seriously thinking about options to be more
insistent about my reasonable accommodations issues with this exact
--And then there is the problem about direct unmediated experience of
the Divine and how does W&M get off deciding which announcements are
--And then there are my twitches about children which also deserve a
And various categories of announcements. For instance:
--Writing death notices or hold in the Light requests on thewhiteboard just seems cold, more expression of a sentiment I sometimes sense that worship is at its most glorious if it's all just happy talk and twaddle and not worshipfully addressing the realities of people's lives.
--I notice a fair number of people happy to hurry off and drink the coffee but not interested in the announcements about signing up to make the coffee.
--I might or might not muster enough focus to reread things in the bulletin such as the mulch spreading exercise. But I probably will not make either my phone or my Kindle read the bulletin aloud during or after worship. And I am a flake so if I do not have an oral reminder, I might not show up.
On the plus side, we could make some kind of checkoff for things like:
Generic rally, predictable place. Cause to be announced. 2pm.
Yucky Topics Festival reading of the week will meet in....
Another note: one of my barometers about end of Meeting sense is how many clumps of people stay in the Worship room and continue talking for awhile after we finally break. That is such a nice way to carry on the sense of worship and pretty consistently I notice a lot of clumps.
Thank you all for thinking about these various concerns.
In the Light.
From the November 23, 2014 bulletin
•For the rest of 2014, Worship & Ministry committee is trying a simpler close to 11:00 worship. Anyone needing to make an announcement can write it on the wipe-erase board outside the worship room, and all are encouraged to check the board as they leave. Please share your feedback with members of Worship & Ministry.
From the November 30, 2014 bulletin
Worship & Ministry will return to inviting spoken announcements after worship effective December 7. We offer Friends the gentle advice that just as sharing news, joys, concerns, etc. is important in building our community, so too is treating each other's time and attention with careful respect. Thank you!
(RantWoman will season leadings involving phrases such as:
--We are all ministers of God
--direct unmediated direction from the Divine
--paraphrasing the Baptists of RantWoman's youth God's table, not Worship and MInistry Committe's to invite or deny....)
(RantWoman is holding in the Light a STRONG need still for a tirade about children and close of worship and one person talking at a time. RantWoman is still thinking about the playground whistle. Meanwhile, RantWoman is pretty sure most readers do not need digressions about 1. RantWoman and childhood realities of religious assembly for the RantFamily, 2. the glorious fact that all Meetings in the Seattle area have children, or 3. the Auntie vs Grandma vibe and need to hold in the Light a suggestion RantWoman found misguided and beside the point of item 2. Cue the Inner Blowtorch. Now Dial it back a little....)