Bored Meetings

“We must develop job descriptions for the purposes of administration, leadership evaluation, recruitment and training and overall process improvement.”

Seat gripping stuff eh?  It makes up a large part of the staff and board of elders meeting at church on the second Saturday of every month.  I am note taker at these meetings and I do it fair to middling when I apply myself.  But it’s uphill work.  It’s as if everyone in the room but me is speaking a foreign tongue; a purely functional language so laden with statistics, constitutional formation information and bylaw reinstatement procedures that my brain begins to hurt.  Sometimes they exchange whole sentences without my having any idea what was just said.  My eyes glaze over and I start to wonder if being born the last of ten kids means that my siblings drained Mom and Dad’s smart gene pool before I came around.

My mind wanders.  Is the cat lounging on the kitchen table while we’re gone?  Have the hens finished laying for the day?  The elder across the table from me just said “incongruent”.  He seems pretty put out with folks who fit that description.  Am I the only person in the room who has to google the word to find out what it means?  Albert (who is an elder) says that holding my iphone in my lap under the table to check facebook during a board meeting is unprofessional, and he’s right; I admit it.  It’s downright incongruent with the echelon of comportment inculcated in one who records the specificated transliterations of the board.

I know that it’s crucial to keep up the constitution and bylaws.  It’s part of what keeps our church healthy and running smoothly.  But they are crucial in the way that it’s important to replace broken roll pins in the cylinder to keep our tractor’s three-point hitch working ship-shape.  I don’t care.  I just want to pull a wagon.

By now you may wonder why I do it.  If it’s so tedious, why not resign?

I have a couple of reasons to stand my post and I’ll tell you one.  I’m afraid it has nothing to do with forbearance for the sake of Christ or anything that noble.  It’s this: all the people in that room love to eat.  They love to eat as much as I love to cook, bake and try out new recipes.  Every second Saturday morning of the month they wonder what I’ve whipped up for our 10:30 coffee break.  For about five minutes that morning, blessed silence reigns at the table while they dig in to taco dip and tortilla chips,

or rollkuchen with juicy watermelon

More rebüs en rollkuchen

along with chocolate cookies, jam dandies or strawberry tarts.  I didn’t take pictures of those.

For someone who loves to cook, making food for people who appreciate good food is the biggest payoff.  And they do.  The staff and board of elders at Aylmer Evangelical Mennonite Mission Church eat with gusto.  Conversation resumes by the time they go for seconds but most of them refrain from debating the merits of reallocation of staff placement versus recruitment of short-term unpaid assistants, at least until Albert calls the meeting back to order.  It’s the best fifteen minutes of the morning.  Somehow, it carries me through the rest.


5 responses to this post.

  1. That looks so yummy!! Maybe I should join your church so I enjoy your eats 😉


  2. Great post Tina. I think many of us can relate to the struggle of “running church” even when we recognize the value. We all relate to the sense of joy when the gift that we bring to the table is recognized and celebrated. Keep making great food for these meetings. I think it is a tangible reward for you and for the Board members. Oh, and keep writing, that is another wonderful gift God has given you that is blessing many.


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