The Silence of the Synod

So the Synod has just ended: my twelfth, and there was less speaking from the floor during the whole Synod than during just the Monday evening session last year. Of course, the people who did speak were lovingly ridiculed and required to joyfully accept that.

Synod has been reduced to four microphones on the floor in the plenary, and that is probably too many. I am sure that one of the great contributions by the current staff before it retires will be a Synod where no one speaks from the floor.

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RCA Management following outmoded models

I read the following in the Monday Business Section of The Globe and Mail, June 30, page B6. It’s from Harvey Schachter’s weekly page on best practices for management. As I read it, I thought that his advice is tailor made for the RCA. Our current management models (including our use of Carver) are all about centralized direction, closed discussions, and small selected groups making all the decisions, discouraging debate, restricting information, and speaking with one voice. Well, those are hardly best practices.
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Bait and Switch

I noticed today that my church secretary had dutifully placed copies of “RCA Today” in every one of our consistory members’ mailboxes.

You would think there would have been a little more subtlety. It’s visually identical to the Church Herald. Format, fonts, artwork, layout.

We expressed to Wes two months ago that our concerns included “transparency” and “patterns of decision making.” The Bait-and-Switch strategy on the Church Herald is a perfect example.

Well done, General Synod Council and GSC staff. You really put one over on us all. And this was supposed to be in the cause of improving “communication”? Orwellian communication. I think of Jacques Ellul on Propaganda.