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The Manual of The United Church of Canada, 2016 edition

In case you missed it folks, The New United Church Manual came into effect today. September 28, 2016.

Here’s the link to catch up all of the latest.
http://www.united-church.ca/news/manual-2016-now-available

When I was in theology school I vowed to never own a manual. To be clear, my Political Science background gave me a respect for process, and order and an eduring love for Parliamentry procedure. However, when it came to church stuff I preferred to leave that to others.

My vow lasted only a few years into Ministry, when I purchased a Manual in order to know my own rights when it came to Maternity leave. This was of course, long enough ago that The Manual was not avaialable for download. Ironically, the Maternity leave policy covered in a handbook, not the Manaul.

There is something to be said for order, process and procedure. It is all we have in the midst of conlfict, daily living and justice work. It give us arcs within which to work, and helps us to understand when we need to move the arcs left or right. The beauty of process is that it gives us a method to do so.

There is a spiritual principle inherent in this too.

I have had a fall that has run at a high tempo and the next month actually ramps up. As well, various factors, personal and professional have also made it somewhat stressful . I tell you this not to create worry or pity (throwing a prayer my way is always appreciated though).

Instead I seek to explain to you why I am compelled to iron.

First of all I need to. I have to have a specific list of clothes ironed and ready to go for October 24.
I also need to attend to a number of other matters in the two weeks following that day, while literally not having any say in my own schedule for two weeks. If I iron now, the one day free before I go – will actually be a free day.

More importantly I need the spiritual satisfaction of participating in something I can measure; wrinkled clothes made smooth by the miracle of time, effort and tools (ironing board and iron and heat). It will smooth my soul, sort my thoughts and leave me aware that my efforts have made a difference. It will acknoweledge that I have prepared what I can, left what I can’t, and allowed myself space to breathe. Can any of us ask for anything more?

Blessed Be