only persons can love

There has been some discussion about creating a committee for the retreat work here. To provide "oversight and accountability"—which is not something I'm against, though it starts to sound like some kind of board of directors. That image also came to mind when someone suggested that a committee could help clarify our mission. And I'm pretty sure we don't want to establish a board of directors.

Heather and I thought and talked about that during the walk, about not wanting to start down the path of institutionalization. I think setting up a board, with positions and powers and mission statements, is definitely a cornerstone for building an institution. Establishing and defining an organization, rather than letting the persons involved be primary. Persons have unique callings, not easily fit into job descriptions, and their relationships with others cannot be defined by authority structures. To follow their calling and develop their relationships best, they especially need an atmosphere of freedom. Jesus recognized and honored the freedom of persons very highly.

I remember writing in my journal long ago that persons have souls; institutions don't. So only persons can love.

We're going to suggest that a few friends of ours here serve as advisors, giving us their perspectives and also being more closely involved in the retreat work so they can give their informed opinions to the church. And we always said we'll accept the oversight and be accountable to the church. I hope that can help the focus to be more on persons and relationships, our relationships with each other and with God.