I struggle, as I listen, to identify with the church-world that is being described.
Our own bishop, Jeffery, agonises with us about how he needs to stop being an administrator and start (after nearly 3 years) being a bishop...and it is is a real tension for him.
He muses longingly about a conversation he has with his Victorian counterpart about how he causes his office to run....Oh (says +Melbourne) I have an Executive Assistant paid 100K+, and a PA paid 70K+... +Jeff laughed, knowing full well that was never going to happen here. We did hear of all sorts of other changes that seem to have been made or about to be made without much open discussion...at least none I have been involved in......most of it would seem to have implications both financial and philosophical for the way we operate. I would have imagined that much discussion would have been helpful to get people on board.
When the floor was opened there was deathly silence. I wondered what would happen if I got up and said "The trouble with all this is that I feel absolutely no ownership or commitment to anything you have just told us." But I decided not to and no one else did, instead we commented on minor irrelevanciesWe were also treated to Bishop Ezekiel from Bor in southern Sudan. African Bishops are an interesting lot, deeply spiritual and faithful they have a Christianity which is often disarmingly frank!
Amidst all this we were told...Sudanese clergy are paid nothing, but their bishops receive a stipend of $3K.
So +Melbourne could have 33 Sudanese Assistant Bishops or an EA.
I am sure I am not the only one who sees a sad irony in all this.
We live in a number of very different worlds!