Like Geese in Flight

Principal Maylanne Maybee writes:

I’m writing this after getting home from a meeting of the Central Council – filled with gratitude for the very fine people I get to work with. Never have I known an organization that draws together staff and volunteers with so unique a combination of competence, intelligence, commitment, and just plain respect for one another as the Centre for Christian Studies.

Last Friday we had our third Second Friday noon hour learning sessions– bringing together three outstanding presentations on a Theology of Creation, from Paul Gehrs, Sean Loney, and Fjola Hart Wasekeesikow. Ted had invited them and arranged the series, Liz greeted people and served a simple soup for lunch, Scott sat at the back and videotaped the proceedings (look for them on our website), while Ann connected with people one to one, speaking with gentleness, depth, and insight.

This week our staff team met twice, once to review progress on our goals as a team and as individuals, again to get through the minutiae of day-to-day business, ranging from our calendar of commitments to the re-arrangement of our copy room. At one session Scott led us in worship on the theme of our senses – what we hear and listen to, what we see and look at, how we use smell and touch (for which he assembled a row of small bowls filled with a small rock, some soil, a plant, a candle, some water). At the other, Ted took us through different types of prayer – of the mind, the heart, the emotions, the will. These times of prayer make it possible for us to get through the tough and the trivial, emerging intact with patience and regard for one another.

The Finance Committee chaired by Brian Faurschou has been working overtime, striving with skill and creativity to anticipate costs and income for next year. The Human Resources Committee chaired by Paul Hagerman met this week to review our personnel policy and think through different scenarios for staffing the work of communications, community relations, and fund development. Carolynne Bouey Shank chaired the Central Council conference call with warmth and compassion (Jim was unable to participate), shepherding us through a heavy agenda without rushing us. Frank Tyrell set the tone with a story, a reading, and a prayer from his ministry in a prison setting. People show up for these meetings, they do their homework; they contribute their expertise and best ideas.

There are moments in the course of a week when I feel inadequate to the task of being Principal of this small and mighty school. There are times in a day when I feel my judgment or actions have been off target — slightly or significantly. Yet in the end, these deficiencies and errors don’t matter so much, when I remember that I belong to a diaconal community, that I am part of a communion of saints, where the gifts and commitments and human kindness of others cover a multitude of sins, where we take turns giving leadership the way geese do in flight, moving to the front, to the rear and then to front again as our energies fluctuate and become renewed.

I am indeed blessed by and grateful for the very fine people I get to work with who make it possible for us to fly as an organization.