A.G.M. (and other things worth exploring)


Manage episode 290969097 series 1333352
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FYI – There’s an important link included a bit later in this email. Don’t miss it.

Right…so I keep meeting people who have a collection of bad Annual General Meeting Experiences playing on the tape loop we call “memory”. They range from enduring boring report after boring report (doable if there’s also food involved) to terrifying displays of power brokering and intimidation (no amount of good food can compensate for these). Sadly, many of these memories were generated in the context of church communities bickering over all sorts of things, ranging from matters of true import to the utterly ridiculous. That’s already enough to make most folks inclined to believe that AGM actually stands for “aggressive godless mayhem” (not my best work, but I didn’t get any suggestions so…), and we haven’t even talked yet about how long these things sometimes drag on (aggravatingly grinding minutia, perhaps?).

Enough with the bad press, already! I’m here to tell you our upcoming AGM (this Sunday – details below) will be brief, to the point, and free of political maneuvering dressed up as messages from god (not a typo).

We have an AGM because it’s required by the CRA for us to function as a not for profit operating as a registered charity. We are also required to have something called a “membership”, which can feel like a weird concept in the context of The Table. Often, in religious settings, membership is a kind of “in group / out group” sorting device, required in order to hold certain organizational positions higher up the righteousness food chain. Since that’s not the way we function at The Table, the only thing you get to do as a member that you can’t do otherwise is…(wait for it!)…vote at the AGM.

Now…it could sound like I don’t think this is important, but it is. It’s just that it might be important for one potentially unfamiliar reason. It’s important because if we don’t meet this requirement, The Table as we know it won’t continue to exist. This is our community. It’s here because we participate in it; we gather (in whatever ways we are able) to explore what we believe, we welcome and care for one another, and what we give sustains the community, whether what we have to share is energy, love, insight, questions, time or money. Any community needs all of those to thrive. Oh yes…and somebody has to vote to approve the operational information shared at an AGM.
Which is where you might come in. Following is the link to an online form to be completed by anyone that wishes to be a member of The Table for the year 2021.Having people fill in this form provides us with the required “membership list” for the year. We would normally just put a sheet of paper by the door, but since this year’s door is virtual this is the substitute. Brent Johnson will compile the list. I would encourage you to complete the form. It’s one way (not the only way, for sure) of saying “I value this community and want to help it thrive”. We’ve made it this far, pandemic and all. Let’s keep going.
Here’s the link to that form:
The AGM itself will take place online in the slot normally dedicated to “And Lunch After”. BYOPL (bring your own pot luck) will have to suffice in place of what is normally a deliciously random collection of good food. I feel both sad and hopeful writing that; sad that we can’t be in the same room, and hopeful that 2021 will be the year when that changes. Here’s the Zoom link for “AGM After”. We’ll get underway at 12:15 this Sunday.
Before that, we’ll meet online here at 10:45 a.m. for music and Community Time, followed by the Talky Bit. I won’t be talking about money (as is often done on the occasion of an AGM). I will be exploring what Yoda, Taylor Swift, , Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus and some other folks (I’m still working on it) have to say about why “on switch / off switch” belief systems can paralyze us. I promise to try to be at least as interesting as a financial pie chart. Stiff competition.
And then, if you are so inclined, you could drop by at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday for our regular evening zoom hang. Last week we talked about vaccines and why it’s hard to admit it when your hearing is failing. Also, how to give medicine to large, reluctant dogs. You just never know where these conversations might go…
Fill out the form. Did I mention that it’s important to fill out the form? Yes, yes I did. 🙂
I’ll see you on Sunday.
-Tim Plett

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