Murder of crows, hilarity of geese


Paducah is full of surprises, such as a full scale giraffe where you would not expect it. And, for that matter, a whole arts district (and a gorgeous coffee house named “etcetera”). Here for the Annual Conference of the Memphis District (no, nobody knows why Paducah is part of it). Reflecting on the curiosity of hundreds of clergy in one spot, John Kilzer informed me that a group of crows is called a “murder of crows” (look it up) and a similar group of geese can be called a “hilarity of geese.”

I’m not sure what a gaggle of clergy should be called, but nothing so bland as conference. Some are worse than crows and funnier than geese, but most are simply people who year after year after year show up in people’s lives with integrity, humility, care and then do the very best they can with what they’ve got. And then suddenly before
they notice, they’ve done it for 30 years. The best are surprised and regard the suddenly passed decades with some humor, but could fill it with a million stories of what matters most.


When you look closer, the colors and patterns of integrity are subtle and dazzling at the same time.

In Bishop Dick Wills “state of the church” this morning he said that if you didn’t want to follow Jesus, just stay in church. But don’t bar the gates for those following Jesus outside in ministry. He begged us not to take the church so seriously, while taking Jesus far more so.


He played the video from “playing for change” and the original stunner of a video beginning with Roger playing “stand by me.” (http://playingforchange.com/episodes/2/Stand_By_Me) If you haven’t seen it, do it now and forget the rest of the blog.

Wayne Merrit used to say that “you shall know the truth and truth shall make you odd. “It is not easy to follow the odd savior Jesus, for it will surely make you odd, too. It is sure a lot harder to do so inside the walls of the institution which tries to keep him safe from all he said. This is probably one of the clues to why it is generally healthy to be in a congregation, but potentially lethal to lead one, or lead four hundred like a Bishop tries to do. And a clue about what health looks like. More like the arts of resistance, than “compliance” (a hospital’s favorite word for good patients).

– Posted on the journey

About garygunderson

Vice President, Faith Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Author, Leading Causes of Life, Deeply Woven Roots, Boundary Leaders and Religion and the Heath of the Public. Secretary, Stakeholder Health (Health Systems Learning Group).
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One Response to Murder of crows, hilarity of geese

  1. The theme for Annual Conference was "Risk Taking Mission & Service". I wonder how many Pastors would say the greatest risk they take is challenging their local Church to truly be the Church? I believe our Churches are ready to follow Risk Taking, Obedient leaders and open their doors to let in some fresh air. Ready to stretech in the Son Light and serve a hurting world.

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