Saturday, May 13, 2006

The synod never disappoints

Over at Putting Out the Fire, Frank and I have been wondering why Ablaze has disappeared from the Lutheran Witness. After all, what will we have to talk about if our favorite, fiery topic goes up in smoke? Not to worry. The synod never disappoints, and I think I discovered the answer to our burning question! So, in honor of Frank and his ditties (I’ve written a few myself over the years, and didn’t know anyone else had this amusing little hobby), I offer here a ditty of my own (inspired by Peter Seeger).

Where has all the Ablaze hype gone,
Short time passing?
Where has all the Ablaze hype gone,
Not so long ago?
Where has all the Ablaze hype gone?
Gone to SPIFE now, everyone.
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Where have all the laymen gone,
Short time passing?
Where have all the laymen gone,
Not so long ago?
Where have all the laymen gone?
Gone to SPIFE Modules, everyone.
You’d think we’d learn by now…..
When, oh when, oh WHEN will we learn?

Actually, I have no idea if SPIFE is mentioned in the May Lutheran Witness because I haven’t received mine yet. My insider scoop comes from a different source:

I had docked my shuttlecraft at the space station for a little well-deserved R&R. As it was Sunday morning, I decided to visit the station’s chapel services. Upon entering, I was seized by an usher and slammed into a highly polished, fully illuminated, stainless steel pew. “I am Luthronus of Borg. You will be assimilated into the church collective. Resistance is futile.” I began to scream.

Sitting bolt upright in bed in a cold sweat, I realized, thankfully, it was all just a dream. But what, besides overindulgent late night snacking and TV habits, could have next-generated such a noxious, nocturnal nuisance in my numb, nodding noggin? Well, it might have been that left-over bratwurst & kraut in the fridge, but the more likely culprit, I think, was April’s The VOICE of Missouri (the MO District’s monthly newspaper), also curiously devoid of Ablaze references, which I’d read earlier that evening.

Page 6 – “SPIFE conducted assimilation modules.” I’m sorry, but can’t you just see those snaky prongs shooting out of a Borg drone into your neck? Yikes! The VOICE actually had quite a few articles mentioning SPIFE news, and it was pretty easy to see what Life with SPIFE will be like.

Before SPIFE: congregations were encouraged to give a warm welcome to visitors and newcomers. After SPIFE: Aaauughhhh! The dream, it haunts me!

Before SPIFE: congregations observed the cycle of the church year. After SPIFE: congregations are kept running in cycles, attending “modules.”

Before SPIFE: congregations planned VBS, potlucks, servant events, etc. After SPIFE: congregations strategize.

Before SPIFE: congregations kept attendance records. After SPIFE: congregations examine and study demographics.

Before SPIFE: congregations liturgically sang their grateful praises for all He Can and does. After SPIFE: congregations proudly boast about what We Can do. (The most telling part of the article was the quote from Ephesians 4:16. “The body grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work.” The way it really reads in the NIV is “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” And if you want a bit of irony, grab your Bible and read verse 14.)

Church Life before SPIFE wasn’t perfect, but it was church. Not a collective hive. Not a corporation. Now, somebody please give me a dose of Pepto, fluff my pillow, and sing me a lullaby…..Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word…zzzzzzzzz.

3 comments:

Frank said...

Twice Burned, There ya are! Good job on the ditty as well as the connecting Abaze! to the Borg. I about fell out of my chair laughing.

Twice Burned said...

Thanks, Frank. With such a perfect straight-line handed to me courtesy of The VOICE, the punch-line practically wrote itself.

Frank said...

Twice Burned, send me an email as I have lost your last email to me to a remote computer that accidentally downloaded all my emails for the month of May.