Thursday, March 31, 2011

Word Work Two

Another Mission Planning Council meeting tonight. Nancy S ran most of it, because we are going to have a chili cook-off in June. I am trying to picture people strolling around the property eating chili, live music playing, the smell of spices in the air.

Before we got to the fun part of the meeting, I did a review of how our Council fits in our five-year plan. We have a new member, and we're half-way through our five years, so a review was in order.

I pulled out our old newsprint and sprinted through a summary, tossing newsprint into a heap behind me as I went along. Half the people there have just heard all this a month or so ago, and half had not really seen this stuff before. So I was torn between Brevity and Clarity.

I'm n
ot sure who won that battle. But the winning visual was the newsprint of all the changes we've had in the last two and a half years. If you look at all the words, it's not brief. And it is clear that we've seen a lot of change in a short time. Not all of it planned or necessarily what we wanted. But the sight of all those words scribbled on the newsprint seemed to catch everyone's attention. So I guess Clarity won.

Maybe it's my interest in history, but I think it's just as important to look back as it is to look ahead as we carry out our mission here. Or anywhere. All those meetings and agendas and minutes and summaries, and even all that newsprint, it all adds up to something. We gain confidence and focus by keeping in mind that the words we spoke last year, and the years before, have born visible fruit. We said these things, then we did these things, and here is where it has taken us. Now what do we say? And where will it lead us?

Who can know? But, at least, I think at least I can count on a chili cook-off happening in June.

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