Lead or be led

What is a mother to do with a 3 year old who continues to flip out when they don’t get that piece of candy before dinner or doesn’t want to pick up their toys or just yanked a toy out of a playmate’s hand and yells ‘MINE!”?

A lot (but not all) of today’s parents coddle this type of child.  A piece of candy would be given accompanied by the words, “Just this one time now.  Okay?”  Or cooing in a sweet voice, “Now honey.  You need to share your toys.  I’ll let you play with it for a little while then you must give it back. Okay?”

There are some parents who would take the child, sit them down in a time-out chair or give them a thwack on the behind or hand and remind them who’s boss.  “No candy before dinner. Period.”  Or would say in a stern voice, “Do NOT take toys from others!  Share! They had it first. You get it next when they are done. Period.”  There would be no asking the child’s permission if it was “okay” giving them power.  A child who is given continual power in such a manner grows up into a bully and a tyrant.

I have been very reluctant to publicly weigh in on matters regarding one of our Dioceses, out of respect for those involved.  It has been difficult waiting for closure as promises and deadlines have come and gone.  Now I feel the need to “take it public” because in my mind this is a teachable moment about leadership.  Leading a group, being a boss, chairing a council and being a parent are all different types of leadership positions.

I have been the sorry witness to those who are supposed to be leaders coddle and give into bullies and tyrants.  The priests got a taste of power back in the days of a financial scandal.  Having tasted that power, some of the same priests are now bullying the Synod again.  This time, to get rid of a bishop who displeases them

The priests (Yavornitzky, A. Kuchta, C. Wojick, P. Wesche, J. Zdinak, A. Clements, J. Gibson, T. Sawchuck, E. Muller, T. Muller, O. Herbel)  publicly abused a sitting bishop. They are throwing a tantrum, making demands, and spitting on their vows of obedience. Some of these priests ought to be suspended.  They have become tyrannical men.

Being a leader is hard work.  It means making hard and often unpopular decisions.  It can mean being disliked.  For a parent it means making decisions for your child with the goal of churning out a responsible, loving, and giving adult who understands and respects authority, obedience and good decision-making.  For the Synod it means making decisions with the  good order of the Orthodox Church in mind.

Do they want to lose good and true Orthodox priests due to their ways?  I assure you, they will lose them (and already have lost some in their hearts) to non-participation in the Diocese and National Church, or to leaving the jurisdiction, or to leaving the Diocese. And these priests are the silent majority who are acting like Christians awaiting the Synod’s stand.

Or do they want to lose contentious Orthodox priests who are willing to break with Canonical procedures for their own end? Those who are raising a ruckus and continuing to scandalize and abuse the faithful with their own agendas and not that of Christ’s. How are they being icons of Christ the Good Shepherd?

There will be fall out. That is certain and unavoidable. Hell, there already has been fallout.  The decision before them is what fall out are they willing to live with and what are they willing to sacrifice.

A tyrant is created when a parent constantly gives in to the child who throws a tantrum to get what he wants. Do you want to create a tyrannical cohort of priests who got a taste of victory when what they got what they wanted during the financial scandals? (Mark 15: 1-15)

Because I can assure you,dear reader, as a mother of two and a 20+ year teaching veteran of miserable 3rd & 4th Sunday school students, if the Synod continues to give these priests credence, they can kiss good-bye ANY chance of being the Holy Synod AND leaders for the present and immediate future.

Two weeks ago I was elected to the Parish Council as Secretary.  Today at coffee hour a Council member spoke to me privately, voicing how glad they were for my willingness to serve.  This is not the first private conversation about this.  Indirectly, this person shared, in a concerned voice, that there is a person who has returned to forefront in the church.  That person is known to take control and do things without the knowledge or agreement of anyone else.  That person is known as a bully, a tyrant.  The Council member told me that there are quite a few ineffective people on the Council and now that this person is back (so to speak), there is concern about things will go.

I wondered how the game was going to be played. And so a few more cards were shown today.  Thank God the priest has a backbone.  I’ve had my share of toe-to-toe disagreements with people on the many boards and committees on which I’ve served.  I’ll be remembering what I wrote above.  And I’ll be praying for God to help me and the Synod to not give in to evil and fear, to lean into the fray, and stand strong with the help of the Archangel St. Michael, St. Theodore the Recruit and St. Cornelius the Centurion.

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2 thoughts on “Lead or be led

  1. Just got to read this today – this shared-computer business is getting OLD. I have been following the antics of the OCA with not a little sadness, as I think of the friends I have who are part of this jurisdiction and must feel as if they are in the middle of a three-ring circus, rather than Christ’s Holy Church. It strikes me that (a) there is no real leadership in the OCA because everybody is so fixated on this Peace thing, and (b) nobody realizes that peace is impossible unless you are willing to go to war for what is right. (In fairness, I must add that I don’t know very many priests who are willing warriors, although most of the ones I know will put their foot down over clear matters of right, wrong, and church administration.)

    Having once served as Parish Council secretary, and come up face to face with parish politics, I don’t envy you – but I will certainly pray for you!

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