Thursday, August 03, 2006

Should You Still Go to a Meeting?

A commenter asks:
Thank you so much for the wonderful and detailed job you are doing. I do have a question. I have read your notes to the meeting and thoughts thereafter. I have heard the same accounts from several others and believe the elders made the right choice. Do you still think I should go to a meeting to hear it for myself. If so, why?

Wow, that's just not something I feel comfortable answering for you.

I imagine you're not alone in this position, and I also assume there are some folks who haven't attended a meeting, but now that Dr. Foster says he has accepted the decision and is requesting no campaigns be made on his behalf, think going to a meeting irrelevant.
I can't answer for those folks either. Let's do a pro and con, I guess.

If you now believe the accounts you've heard about the elders meetings details are true and therefore you firmly believe they made the right decision, by not going to a meeting, you could theoretically open up room for people who want to go but weren't able to sign up in time. I don't know logistically how deletions/additions to the roster would work. It would entail you contacting the church to say you're not going to attend after all, I guess, and then them contacting someone who tried to sign up but was denied to tell them space has opened up.
That's probably too much of a hassle for everybody right now.

On the other hand, if you believe the accounts are true and believe the elders made the right decision, by attending a meeting you might be able to lend support to them (even if just with a kind face), ask questions you hadn't thought of until a certain detail related brings it to your mind, and perhaps see documentation you hadn't thought to be interested in before.
I guess what I'm saying is, if you choose not to attend, you cannot un-unattend. Does that make sense? It is more likely you'd regret not hearing/seeing for yourself than it would be regretting you went to hear/see firsthand.

There may also be some "mystical" value in hearing these charges brought before the community, a facing of the problem and the decision by the body corporate that you don't get from just reading somebody's notes or hearing somebody's version. But expanding on ideas like that would require more time and probably result in the practical decision of "go with your gut" anyway.

Long answer short, I don't know what you should do. My gut says "go to a meeting." But I think ultimately the decision is really between you and your conscience.



At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jared,

Yikes, I was a tad surprised to see my question as a blog entry, but hopefully it will help others. My gut says "go", my husband's gut says it's not necessary we've made up our minds. I do appreciate you taking the time for the pro/con list. My gut just kicked in even more affirming I should go. Thanks again.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...

mystical?.... even in quotation marks... it sounds.... I don't know.....

I probably would have used "hysterical".... in both senses of the word.... : - )

But... I'm a cynic... I know... doggone it.... shucks....

I'm gonna write an open letter to the Bellevue Community Church & Elders....

I'm seriously considering Cynics Anonymous... I think I need help.... if so many folks say I have a cynical problem... it's probably something I should deal with....

Criminy.... they've been saying it for years..... OUCH!!!!!

Okay.... I like how you framed your response to that question... Jared....

You can't un-attend.... how true....

And... how true.... you can't un-deny there's a problem.... that one email - open letter fixes....

Man... oh... man..... where are the Keystone Cops when ya' need 'em????

C. Evan Leonard

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Two things I've learned about cynics in the last year.

1) a cynic is an idealist who's been disappointed.

2) The great philosopher Stephen Colbert had this to say about cynicism: "Now will saying 'yes' get you in trouble at times? Will saying 'yes' lead you to doing some foolish things? Yes it will. But don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying 'yes' is how things grow. Saying 'yes' leads to knowledge. 'Yes' is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say 'yes.'"

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Jared said...

Anonymous, if you'd phrased the question that way before, I would have said "go with your husband's gut." Silly me for not thinking about you having a spouse with a different opinion.

I may be old-fashioned -- but not too old-fashioned; I'm a stay-at-home dad, remember -- but I my personal view in that circumstance is that you should submit to your husband's counsel. (If he'd like my address so he can send me some money or something, will do. ;-)

But obviously that's something y'all can work out together. I reckon even if he's not interested in going he could say you should go. But if there's a real question there, accepting your husband's "gut" on something this minor is probably a good and safe choice.

I hope I didn't offend with any of that. I'm not a caveman member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club or anything like that.


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Jared said...

Evan, "mystical" is probably not the right word. I know "hysterical" is not the right word.

I was only trying to convey the idea that there might be some spiritual, mysterium tremendum-type value to the idea of sins that have disrupted the body being presented to the body. When experienced in community, facing this issue might have an unquantifiable spiritual value that just reading notes or hearing about it individually can't have.

I hope that makes more sense.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i read your blogs the other day, and thought, i don't need to go, but i felt that the only honorable thing to do, as a member of the church was to actually go, show up, hear it for myself... it was well worth it, despite it feeling like i had read the script before the play, it was very necessary to see and feel the emotion of what our beloved elders have been through, i read somewhere else, something about giving them whatever the highest award is, and i full-heartedly agree... and i think that reward is our increased fervor to make this thing called BCC a true amazing biblically-functioning community... i am overwhelmed to think through all that they have dealt with, and thank them for choosing to stand and act as they felt lead to, and not out of fear of what the popular masses might think... these are amazing men...

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not offended at all Jared. :-) And actually after I read him your pros/cons my husband has decided to go too. I'll have to tell him about your reply, he might indeed want your address! ;-)

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Jared said...

Awesome. Glad that worked out okay.

Honestly I was a little nervous about having said that! ;-)

At 3:34 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...


I was being... or trying to be.... funny.... regarding substituting hysterical for mystical.... darn it.... but what about metaphysical????

I guess I should listen to my wife.... she says I ain't all that funny... but she does like my big red nose and my big bow tie and my big shoes... and all...

So... I wasn't even being mildy unamiable.... I just saw an opening and went for it.... obviously... I missed.... : - )


And Phil.... thanks for defining cynic for me.... I guess I'm not one after all.... thought I was....

Maybe I'm a sarcastic narcissist... could you look that one up for me... and share.... : - )

Doggone it... there I go again.... not being a cynic....

Thanks, everyone, for understanding my problem and wanting to reinstate me as Senior Cynic at BCC.... now that I've written an open letter... saying I've accepted my dismissal, that I have a problem and that it would be best for me to move on.... what a great bunch of folks.... but Phil has shown me I'm not really a cynic... (am I even spelling it right.... cynic or cinyc? Maybe I'm just dyslexic?

I don't know...

- sigh

Sigh Evan Leonard

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Matt Sipos said...

Jared, if I may make a point to those considering not attending a meeting thanks to your accurate account of the details.

While some may want to go and hear what the Elders have to say, if you are comfortable accpting Jared's account [I verify his accuracy, I went to the Monday night meeting], give the Elders a break and don't go. These guys must be absolutely worn out by now and all the meetings scheduled for next week are completely filled.

I only suggest this because I can see what this has done to the Elders, they are exhausted.

Matt Sipos

At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Jonna said...


I wanted to thank you for responding to my comment in your recent post-I'm sure this blog keeps you busy! I do plan to bring my questions to the elders meeting, and see what their responses are as well. My husband and I have lots to think and pray about.

Thanks again,
Jonna Watson

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Matt Sipos said...

Hey Jared, please email me, I can't find your email address at this blog. [I reckon it's here somewhere and I'm just being stupid]


At 7:28 PM, Blogger Matt Sipos said...

Does anyone know about Foster's new church in Madison?

According to the City Paper, Faoster and Barber started two LLC corporations on April 6th. One is called:

David Foster Ministeries, LLC, 1210 Briarville Road, Madison, 37115, Craig Barber

The other is called:

Fostering Connections, LLC, 1210 Briarville Road,
Madison, 37115, Craig Barber

Here is the link:

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous jonathan said...

Matt - A little early to assume the two LLC's are a "new church" don't you think?

At 5:14 AM, Blogger Matt Sipos said...

I'm not making any assumptions, that's why I'm asking if anybody knows about it. But a name like 'David Foster Ministries' has kind of a churchy sound to it, don't you think?

At 5:49 AM, Blogger Matt Sipos said...

Someone pointed out that LLC's are probably for his speaking/writing/personal development
ministries, a 501C3 would be more in line with an actual church.

[Why is it that every time I post here, there seems to be more and more squiggly letters I have to reproduce before it lets me post....the number is up to 8 now]

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Jim Voorhies said...

If anyone is still wondering whether to attend a cottage meeting or not, please go to one. Even if you don't need to hear the full story that Jared has reported here, it will be inspirational and affirming to hear how our elders went beyond where most of us would surely have gone with love, support, and faith exhibited to the Fosters and the faith and courage they showed taking the remaining step.

They may have been chosen by Foster as rubber stamps but they are elders.


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