Posted: March 2016
We take the Bible seriously but not literally. So if you take it literally, please look away now.
On the other hand, if you like a smile, try this unattributed version of the first chapter of Genesis:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, so God created the Methodists and handed the project to them. They immediately formed a committee, carefully balanced regarding race, gender, ethnic origin, and economic status, in order to interface pluralism with the holistic concept of self-determination.
Even God was impressed, and so ended the first day.
And God said, "Let the committee draw up a mission statement." And behold, the committee decided to prioritise and strategise, and God called that process empowerment.
And God thought it sounded pretty good.
And evening and morning were the second day.
And God said, "Let the committee determine goals and objectives and engage in long-term planning." Unfortunately, a debate about the semantic differences between goals and objectives pre-empted almost all of the third day.
Although the question was never satisfactorily resolved, God thought the process was constructive. And evening and morning were the third day.
And God said, "Let there be a retreat in which the committee can envision functional organisation and engage in planning by objectives." The committee considered adjustment of priorities and consequential alternatives to programme directions, and God saw that this was good.
And God thought that it was even worth all the coffee and biscuits
that he had to supply. And so ended the fourth day.
And God said, "Let the committee be implemented with long-range planning and strategy." The committee considered guidelines and linkages and structural sensitivities, and alternatives and implemental models.
And God saw that this was very democratic.
And so would have ended the fifth day, except for the unintentional renewal of the debate about the differences between goals and objectives.
On the sixth day, the committee agreed on criteria for assessment and evaluation. This wasn't the agenda that God had planned. He wasn't able to attend, however, because he had to take the afternoon off to create day and night and heaven and earth and seas and plants and stars and trees and seasons and years and sun and moon and birds and fish and animals and human beings.
On the seventh day God rested, and the committee submitted its recommendations. It turned out that the recommended forms for things were nearly identical to the way that God had created them; so the committee passed a resolution commending God for his implementation according to the guidelines. There was, however, some opinion expressed that people should have been created in the committee's image.
And God caused a deep sleep to fall upon every
Methodist committee thereafter.
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Fairford Leys Community Centre
Hall, rooms 4/5/6