I write, speak, invest, network, and question to stimulate fruitful conversation. Let's talk about human flourishing! It begins with freedom. Holy leisure is the key to human being, freedom and generativity. Please join me in the adventure of realizing Christ!
NB: You will not understand the following fully unless you’ve read the Introduction to this series!
In what ways do you feel the Church is not quite up to date, not in sync with the times we live in?
In most ways, I’d much rather she not be in step with the times. Thank God for an institution that is not constantly shifting her beliefs and boundaries according to public opinion, that has ‘archaic’ expectations for personal conduct in a day whose behavior bar is set almost bestially low, and that is slow to change absent the frenetic, hostile push for haste and speed in the ‘times’ where she lives!
ON the other hand…(Did you just hear the soundtrack from Fiddler on the Roof?)
I do wish we’d make better use of some of the modern communication and information technology available to us. Tech could help us better support (i.e. Drive Traffic To) arts events, speaker events, service or teaching opportunities, whenever those are open to the public. A better Events Calendar – one searchable by keywords and region, maybe, would be helpful. As far as The Leaven goes to let people know what’s up in the archdiocese, more could be done to give advance notice, greater detail, and to make sure no one feels their event ‘didn’t make the cut’ for the newspaper’s calendar. An electronic version would not have any space limitations, and could allow us to tailor what notifications we receive. For instance, I’m not interested in school sports events, would like to know about all the Bishop’s events, am interested in arts events within 100 miles, and in whatever happens in the Lawrence area. Speaking of ‘the Lawrence area,’ there is currently no mode of communication within the local region. If Corpus Christi (just across town) has a great concert, or a speaker coming, or if their moms group has something interesting (and open) going on, wouldn’t it be lovely for us to have a chance to crash and ‘mix’ there? Maybe if we could communicate more easily, we’d develop some inter-parish interest groups that would enliven the whole Catholic community roundabouts.We could use Wikis to create registries of all the works of art at each church in the archdiocese. What a nice reference that might be for an art teacher, as she plans the next semester. Field trips to view these works might result, or conversations with contemporary Catholic artists, or iphone walking tour guides for each Church might draw in our neighbors. Technology could easily be used to strengthen the networking efforts of Catholics – business owners, artists, social entrepreneurs, medical workers, Jane Austen enthusiasts, beer brewers, bloggers, poodle lovers – across the archdiocese.
In what ways do you feel the Church is too much influenced by the current times and culture?
- Too busy for conversation
- Not responding to emails
- Reading badly
- Writing worse
- Contempt for form
- No intergenerational activities
- Mentally ill, suicidal teens
- Moms on anti-depressant drugs
- Catholics in atheist schools
What strengths do you have that the Church is not drawing upon?
Ideation, organization/logistics, systems thinking, planning and vision, writing, education.
What groups in the Church need help becoming reconciled?
- Women – especially ‘at home’ and ‘outside home’ working moms
- Contemporary worship and Chant/polyphony people
So, I wonder what answers we’d get to these and other Q’s (see list) if the Archbishop asked. I don’t have an agenda. I honestly don’t know, but am interested. Based on my limited experiences, I’d bet that, if asked for a response to these questions, one out of a hundred people would even bother. But that would still be a valuable sample size. Anyway, please don’t write to tell me the Bishop is busy. I so know that, and am not bugging him with any of this at all.
…it is difficult for poets to remain acceptable or contented party men; they ask too many questions.
Dorothy Sayers, in the Introduction to her translation of Dante’s Purgatorio