Collaboration and Communication

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

Moderators: Dom Perignon, Casimir

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Tsume Tsuyu
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Post by Tsume Tsuyu » Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:04 am

This sounds familiar. Well, not the being single and a bloke bit :oops: , but being perceived to have some sort of authority (and the almost always wearing black!).

I've worshipped at the same church for my entire life. Since my teens I've been 'involved', with various ministries, with planning liturgies, with the organisation of fundraisers, social events, typing the weekly bulletin for quite a while, etc., etc. Consequentially, I'm like the person "up front" that Merseysider talks about. I'm visible, both at Mass and at lots of other gatherings. People think I know everything. I'm asked all sorts of questions and people have expectations of me. It can be quite wearing and, sometimes, I feel like telling folk that I'm no different from them, actually. I don't; I usually smile and try to help.

I think Merseysider is right when he says that, mostly, people feel they need permission to actually do anything in their church. Maybe they're not able to shake off the notion that the priest stands on a pedestal and issues instructions and that no-one should do anything unless Fr. So and So says it's all right. I think a good many priests would come down from their pedestals but their flock won't let them because, whilst the priests may know that they shouldn't be up there, no-one's told the assembly.

We seem to be ignorant on so many levels. The people need formation. Sure, some folk will absorb only a tiny amount, but others will soak it up; I know it would help me. I was pretty much blissfully ignorant until I joined SSG. I'm learning more every day, especially since the forum began, but I'd actually like to be learning with my fellow parishioners, making the journey with my parish family. Presbyter is right, I really have no idea what the "fundamental theological, pastoral underpinning of this whole collaborative exercise" is, which is why I want formation!


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Parish / Diocese: Salford

Post by SOP » Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:50 am

This is a sensitive/difficult area. Sometimes it is not the priest saying you cannot do things but other members of the community along the lines of "you are not the priest, you can't do that" even if the PP has agreed to it.

Then there are the toes of people already doing things. Again, it is not the priests saying not to do anything but people who feel their dignity is being threatened if anyone else does things. And it has to be said, I find musicians particularly sensitive.

Following God's call can be extremely difficult at times and made so by those who should know better.

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Too many Indians and not enough chiefs?

Post by Dot » Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:34 pm

Merseysider is blest and cursed at the same time. Those with the ability, charisma, to lead are heavily leaned on. They do more and more until something has to give (and you've described this dilemma to us, M, in another thread (
Perhaps people won't immediately feel willing to do even the simplest of tasks without you - they want you there perhaps because you provided the inspiration in the first place. With time, though, you may be able to empower them by your encouragement, and then you really will see the blessing of your work spreading through the hands of other people.

The best leaders must be those who empower those they lead. They may never be able to break free completely, and may always be leaned on, but that is a cross they have to carry and may, indeed, enjoy carrying.


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Splitting into new threads

Post by Dot » Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:42 pm

I agree that this thread is getting unwieldy, though it has been one of the most interesting ones in a while. If I wish to raise the matter of getting the assembly to sing again, I shall start a new thread. Similarly, if people wish to pursue the topic of formation, perhaps that could form a new thread. What with Presbyter's proposed new threads, we'll have enough to weave a rich tapestry. I hope it won't become a tangled web.


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Leadership Crisis! - who is the ' Top Sheep' here?

Post by sidvicius » Fri Aug 20, 2004 3:58 pm

Your sheep do seem to be wandering aimlessly without your guidance, M! - and I wholeheartedly concur with Dot's comments above - maybe you could be 'Moses-sider'?? He asked God for help at a similar time and by golly, look what happened.

Even as we speak, I can feel the prayers of the SSG forum gathering momentum and heading your way like a spiritual tsunami...

But in the meantime, if you could only identify some sort of "pastoral Border Collie" amongst your flock...that would be collaborative, sort of, wouldn't it?

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A moderator muses...

Post by musicus » Fri Aug 20, 2004 5:32 pm

As Dot has says, this is an interesting thread, and I am happy to let it wander a bit. At the same time, folk should always feel free to start new threads. Separate threads make it easier to find stuff when you're looking for it.

I know that some of you prefer just to read the forum rather than post to it. That's just fine, and you're very welcome. But I would ask you not to discount the possibility of posting from time to time. We have a few people who post very frequently, so you might think the forum is a bit cliquey sometimes. I know that's not people's intention, and we'd all love to hear from you.

Musicus (moderator)

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Re: Too many Indians and not enough chiefs?

Post by Merseysider » Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:06 pm

I became quite tearful after reading all your delivcious posts.
Dot wrote:you've described this dilemma to us, M, in another thread

And now I feel a complete heel. Yes, I'm doing too much and it's knackering me as well as eating into my income – but I made the decision so to do and I can't blame anyone else.
Coincidentally, my PP has suggested I have Saturday nights off until the end of August – attendance is noticeably down in the summer – so I'll only be doing one Mass for the next two or three weeks. AND, he's insisting I start claiming mileage: I''m knocking up 40 miles a week with all the 2-ing and 3-ing.
I need to swallow my earlier grumbles.

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