Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Discernment and Alphabet Soup

RantWoman is conscious of the internet as one vast maelstrom of interconnected indexing. If RantWoman is going to use a blog to collect thoughts and comments, she wishes to facilitate this indexing when it seems advantageous and if possible to obfuscate it with regard to more infelicitous themes. This posting is definitely the latter, though RantWoman hopes that what she is thinking about will be clear enough to the people close to the problem to convey her thoughts.

Part of Saturday's discernment involved repetitions of themes beloved by Finance Committee about the extent to which our Meeting's practices subsidize other activities, including a longtime tenant of our building, a tenant whose ties to our Meeting have ebbed and flowed but currently seem to be at a pretty low ebb beyond regular payment of rent.

RantWoman thinks this topic needs prodding, for one thing because this organization does huge amounts of work that RantWoman thinks Friends need and want to do or at least want to have done if not necessarily always being clear about how to do it ourselves. RantWoman does not think her Meeting's relationship to this organization differs substantially from this organization's dances with the local Meeting in other parts of the country. RantWoman is also aware that for many people outside Quakerdom, this organization is the face of what people think of as far as Quaker activism, with no thought whatsoever of worship or corporate discernment as practiced in Meeting for Worship for Business. Likewise, people who come to this organization from other directions are sometimes surprised when something this organization is resoundingly clear and ardent about meets a wall of quibbles, cavils, and outright hostility when actually brought before a Quaker meeting's Meeting for Business.

RantWoman really does not expect to resolve these tensions. She is further conscious of her own inclination to go all John Woolman about relying on this organization alone to project Quaker presence in certain historically Quaker social concerns. In tough economic times,in addition to our Meeting's maintenance backlog, this organization's fundraising is also taking a hit and there seems to be some choice between maintaining an important steadiness in the relationship and possibly working out our economic vexations at each other's expense.

RantWoman is also considering whether or not it is of concern that she lacks sufficient information about the organization's current status even to evaluate whether or not there might be other internal matters within the organization playing a role in a sense of malaise.

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