Thursday, March 03, 2005

Knocking on the Doorway to Compassion

I am pretty blogged-out this week, though you wouldn't know from reading Connectedness. The Six Sigma Church initiative has been going swimmingly. The online survey produced a lot of provocative information, which a small group has boiled down to something at least a little less overwhelming. The next step is feeding the information back to the congregation, to be discussed over a series of neighborhood gatherings.

The "easy" part of that is information distribution. This week I created a new special-purpose blog to provide everyone easy access to the report. I expect this to be a disposable website and not much of a true blog, but if it grows into a true community instrument (see also this), I'll be sure to report that here. In any case, I'm very happy with how it all turned out, but Blogger really did try my patience as it insisted on republishing a lot more often than I really needed to during the creative process. I also strained the WYSIWYG editor beyond its limits a few times.

Soon comes the much harder part -- constructive dialogue! The survey has drawn attention to some sensitive areas; discussion without defensiveness will be tricky. Thankfully, the church leadership is ready for the challenge. In a moving preface to the survey report, the board of directors said,

"Seventy years ago Kurt Hahn, a progressive German Educator and founder of Outward Bound, insisted that one’s weakness is one’s greatest strength. He believed a weakness presents an opportunity to try new things, overcome fears, and test perseverance in a way that our natural talents cannot. Above all, weaknesses are a doorway to compassion. Let us clearly define our challenges and engage them as opportunities."

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