Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Our Minutes...

Every year, the Presbytery asks its congregations to submit their Session Minutes, Rolls and Registers, so that they may be reviewed by a committee to be sure we are recording all of the events in the life of the church and all the people who come and go from our midst, in a decent and orderly fashion.

In past years, the minute readers would visit each church in turn, and read the minutes there.  A system which I commend to all my readers.  After all, the session minutes, rolls and registers are important historic documents that are by the Book of Order, to be kept in a safe or similar protected place in each church.  

Sadly, in recent  years, however, they have seen fit to have us bring the minutes to them.  Not a good idea.  Oh, I am sure it saves the readers time and gas money, but why we would have bound historic documents gallivanting over the countryside like the happy wanderer along the mountain track is way beyond the realm of reason.

You see a photo of what they needed from us, yesterday.  As I have said to my friends, it is like taking four volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica on a trip with you.  I put them in a nice desk organizer I found in a local home goods type store, which looks like it is made of the same color of leather as the binding on our books, except it is or is stamped to look like ostrich hide.  I did this for two reasons.  One, because I needed something to carry them in.  Two, because in the past the committee reading the various church's sets of minutes has not necessarily been able to keep the various volumes from each church together.  So I did what I could to help them in that task.

I am happy to tell you that not only did the minutes pass with flying colors, and rave reviews from the readers, thanks to the hard work of our outstanding Clerk of Session, Sam, and our church secretary, Patty, but also, they came back to me and to the church in one piece.

Now it almost did not happen. You see, the reading committee members were done reading all the minutes by lunch time and so they put them all on folding tables in the Narthex of the church.  I suppose their rationale was that would make it easier for all the churches to pick up their minutes.  True. 

Nonetheless, it also made it easier for anyone else who so desired, to pick up the wrong church's minutes.  Because, as you probably know, every church's minutes are bound in exactly the same kinds of maroon binders as ours--this is a Book of Order requirement.  So it was like having several tables full of volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica stacked here and there and everywhere.

To which point I will say this:

When I went to retrieve Wekiva's minutes, in their box, they were being "fingered" by some fellow from some other congregation, as if he was going to purloin then and have his way with them.  Why he would think that his church's minutes, that he brought without benefit of some sort of carrier, had been placed in a lovely leather carrying box is waaaaaay beyond me. 

It goes to my point of saying that in the course of a day, at least half of the people you will meet are of less than average common sense. (I could tell you which congregation he was from, but I will refrain from naming names; I am just glad he is not on MY session!).

As you might guess, I whisked our very own minutes away and out to my car ASAP.  The photo you see is of them, as I set them down to open the trunk, where I placed them, under lock and key, so that I could preserve, protect and defend them, till they got safely back to the church.

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