Back in July I shared the Saga of the Closet ™ which detailed how when we don’t address root problems we find ourselves continually addressing the symptoms. If you don’t fix the roof, it doesn’t make sense to simply patch and paint. Eventually the water will return. (Read the saga here: https://wordpress.com/post/karenchamis.blog/1292)
Our maintenance guy did all the right stuff. He contacted a roofer who found a few open seams, replaced the moldy drywall, and sealed it up well. He put on one coat of paint and discovered it didn’t match the rest of the room (this is what happens when there are 5,478 varieties of “white”). I told him not to bother with repainting as it was a closet. Surely there were more pressing needs in our complex.
When he stopped by last week to look at the new emerging stain in the corner I quipped “aren’t you glad you didn’t repaint?”. He didn’t seem amused.
Last night our neighbor knocked on our door to tell us they were dealing with water dripping from their kitchen ceiling… and a closer inspection of the space over our own cabinets showed the beginning of staining. This morning the stain had grown and the damp was obvious. I’m no expert, but my hunch here is that the work done on the roof this past summer required more than patching seams.
I never re-use sermons or blog posts, in part because I find that context changes quickly and because I usually am embarrassed by what I’ve written. Today is the exception to the rule:
“Conflicts that were buried, misconduct that was ignored or hushed, and unresolved problems with leadership are beginning to break through to the surface. These old problems must be addressed. Replacing a few boards (or board members?), may have worked once or twice but will not solve the issue. Painting over the problem may have worked in the past, but an organization that keeps secrets will find it difficult to preach truth.”
Rev. Dr. Dee Cooper will be present with us via Zoom on the 17th at 7 p.m. to help us begin the conversation about organizational trauma… what sort of things does a church experience when it discovers its past has painful stories of abuse or neglect? How do we begin to address the real problem and not the symptoms?
I hope you’ll join us.