Friday, March 05, 2010

Penguins and Purple Martins

I believe a church evolves, just like animals do, albeit a lot faster.

A church that has evolved without a minister is a different animal than a church that has evolved with a minister. So the church without a minister has evolved into -- let's say, a penguin. And they look at themselves at say, Yes, this is what a church looks like, and this is what a church is supposed to do -- swim.

But they're not doing much growing, because all they do is swim and eat fish in their tiny little pocket of the world. So they hire a minister, who evolved to be a purple martin. And the martin says, Okay, it's time to fly! But the penguins look at her and say, "What are you talking about, birds are supposed to swim!"

The martin somehow manages to convince them to come up on the roof with her. They're looking a little leery, so she gets them to the edge and then pushes them off, expecting them to be like baby martins and open their wings and fly.

Splat splat splat.

They didn't evolve to fly.

6 comments:

Robin Edgar said...

And then of course there are those churches that evolve into ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. . . ;-)

ms. kitty said...

Very wise, LE. And it's hard to change a church's identity; it's a slow job, accomplished by tiny steps. They have to want to learn to fly, is the thing.

Green Sufi said...

Well said, ms. kitty. :)

Rosemary said...

Sad Story.
These poor penguins did want to fly but they didn't have the wings...

And poor Rev Purple Martin who now has a mess on her hands....

Can the Association of Birditarian Birdiversalists do a better job of preparing Rev Purple Martin to understand and navigate congregational dynamics?

Seeker of the Flaming Chalice said...

Wow. What a thought provoking story. What would happen if the church convinced the Rev. she could swim?

Kristina said...

Maybe it's time to bring in some mallards who understand the joy of wind beneath their wings, as well as the thrill of diving to the bottom to swim with the fish.

Maybe we're all mallards - just some of us spend more time under water, and some in the air. 'Cause let's face it - penguins aren't going to fly, and martins aren't going to swim, so if that's our goal, won't we fail? In the long run, we'll evolve, that's true; but in the long run we're all dead, too.

I like to have my cake and eat it, too. Of course, I'm not a minister or seminarian, and I'm new at this UU stuff, so that's a giant disclaimer - but I don't see why we have to choose. Don't the two worlds have the potential to coexist with some kind of synergy?