The “Peanuts” cartoon strip was a long running cartoon that was serialized in various newspapers for fifty years and was arguably the longest running story told by a single human being. When any comic strip runs that long its almost certain that particular gags will recur, and one such gag is the one of Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football.
The gag is basically a “variation on a theme” with Lucy talking Charlie Brown into kicking a football she’s holding
Charlie Brown then expresses reluctance – after all Lucy’s pulled this trick on him before.
Lucy manipulates Charlie Brown into thinking she’s changed and “this time will be different”
With renewed optimism Charlie Brown builds up a head of steam to send the football into orbit…
Only to find out he’s been sold a bill of goods because Lucy hasn’t changed a bit…
…and she always has some reason or other to justify her deception to make it Charlie Brown’s fault for believing her. (1)
Sadly, we appear to be getting the same treatment from LCC Board of Directors at their Leduc AB meeting. The BOD announced that it wanted to hold a town hall and even solicited input from the community. One could forgive the people that attended the Leduc meeting for thinking “this time things will be different.” You can guess their reaction when they what they got was a short church service, an introduction of the Board members, and then the “town hall meeting” was adjourned with no prior announcement or explanation. BUT! The BOD members will be here to socialize with you and you can talk to them one on one…
A picture of the Leduc AB “town hall meeting” from the FB group “Canadian Lutheran”
Talk about bait and switch….a town hall meeting is about a community coming together to discuss issues and concerns common to members of that the community in an open and public format. This way the entire community can air their concerns, get answers to questions, learn from the responses and get a feel of where the community is on the various issues of concern.
While one on one meetings are great for discussing more private concerns it is not a town hall meeting. Discussions are generally confined to small groups or individuals, questions and answers are not known to all the attendees, and the kind of community dialogue LCC needs cannot take place.
And let’s be blunt – offering one thing (a town hall meeting) and delivering another (effectively an after-church social) is a breach of the community’s trust that has already suffered enough.
Needless to say such kind of behavior has no place in the Body of Christ.
(1) As it turns out, the author penned a variation of this gag over 30 times during the course of his career – you can see some of them here.
Update 2019-04-12: Turns out I miscapitalized Leduc as LeDuc. Thanks to a reader for the correction. 🙂
There is nothing in the posted original solicitation that indicated the LCC BOD would actually address or respond to any perceptions, viewpoints, needs, or support shared by any attending congregational members.
Later the the phrase, “an informal discussion of the above items,” refers to that four-part sharing by the attendees.
There is nothing in the original solicitation that indicated the BOD would do anything more that informally “meet and greet” meeting attendees.
No wonder the “Town Hall” meeting included the scare quotes. In fact, it is possible that the wording in the original solicitation was prepared / approved by LCC lawyers in order to prevent anyone from claiming that at the meeting BOD members promised, agreed with, or confirmed anything that attendees might have shared.