Friday, February 6, 2009

The Cluster Dance

Do the cluster dance!
Do the cluster dance!
dancing Pictures, Images and Photos
Even if you take a stance
It’s a game of chance.
we are forced
To do the cluster dance.
dancing Pictures, Images and Photosdancing Pictures, Images and Photos

Liz danced with Helena
The pair danced well and good.
A very short relationship
But they danced as best they could.

Then, Helena forced to dance with Stan:
Pastoral musical chairs.
Then, Good and Saintly Helena
was simply kicked down the stairs.

The music stopped for Helena.
The song was all askance.
Helen’s doors were locked.
No more cluster dance.

Now, Stan dances with Carmel.
Between them, hopefully, some romance.
For Stan and Carmel now
find themselves in the Cluster Dance.

So, Liz dances on with Francis.
In fact, Liz dances with two.
For Liz dances with Lourdes.
But now, she finds out Patrick stands in queue.
dancing Pictures, Images and Photosdancing Pictures, Images and Photosdancing Pictures, Images and Photos

At least,
that’s what the vicar said.
Is the dance step changing,
or is this all in the vicar’s head?

For Patrick danced with Joseph.
But, apparently, that relationship was scarred.
And now Patrick and Joseph
Rearranging their dance card.

Or is the dance now being changed
by some unseen force?
Rumors abound
about who will dance with whom
and who wants a dance divorce.

But rumors come and go.
For the fact is, cluster is no romance.
Still, we are forced
To do this illogical
energy draining
time wasting
clergy killing
Cluster Dance.

Meetings, meetings, meetings.
Then, phone calls not returned.
Some behave like jello.
This all has me concerned.

Put your right foot in.
Take your right foot out.

Do the cluster dance
and turn your parish inside out.

And through it all avoid the topic
That gave this dance her start;
The declining clergy numbers.
Rather, let’s just tear parishes apart.

Will we cluster and cluster again
until all clergy are gone?
Is there not a way
to change this morbid song?

And what of all the women
with their M.Div. Degree?
Could they not, somehow,
A parish shepherd be?

I’m not talkin’ ordination,
‘Cuz that’s another song.
I’m just talkin’ pastoral leadership.
Bishop Untener, how I miss your songs!

And what of all the married men
with a Master of Divinity?
Does having a wife
Make then unfit for ministry?

"Priest, Prophet and King."
That’s how all the faithful are baptized.
And yet, in this crazy cluster dance
The priesthood, in all forms, is compromised.

The body is just one
Many members there may be.
But I never knew that to be Christ’s Body
Church members must have a dance degree.
dancing Pictures, Images and Photosdancing Pictures, Images and Photosdancing Pictures, Images and Photosdancing Pictures, Images and Photosdancing Pictures, Images and Photos

Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum
". . .my body given up for you," he said.,
I don’t think he meant to keep changing, adding partners
Until the clergy all are dead.

In fact, we commit a sarcedotal genocide
If we continue in this fashion.
Giving clergy 2, 3 parishes
Will kill them and/or kill their ministerial passion.

Archbishop! Archbishop!
I know you’re new and all.
But can you, will you wave your magic wand
And get some logic at this dance hall?

Oops! I mean your crosier.
But, seriously, and with all due respect,
Let me say that I am tired
And this cluster dance is wrecked.

I’m tired of semantics.
For if you look through my eyes
You will see that "cluster" means
Nothing more than an Ecclesial Downsize.

Mother, can you hear my cry?
Send us your flower song!
Create creative ministry!
Create a place where all can belong!

Ruah! Ruah! Ruah!
Come, O Great and Holy Spirit!
Let Your music play!
And may the faithful hear it!

May we dance the dance of Ruah!
And dance and dance again!
May we dance the dance of Ruah!
Amen and Amen!

(c) 2009, Rubi Martinez-Bernat.
About Rubi:
Rubi owns several blogs and websites, including Permission is given to post "The Cluster Dance" to your blog your website. It must be published in its entirety without edit and include copyright and the full contents of this "about" paragraph, including clickable link. All other use in all other media prohibited.


Anonymous said...

A very creative twirl

Let's give it a whirl.

Look out when unpopular things you say

for ex-communication is only a dance step away

Speaking truth is bad for your health

Unless one does it only in stealth

Don't bugaloo to the left or sachet to the right

for if you step on the wrong toes

you'll be in for a fight.

It matters not what you say is true

But only that they say the skies are blue

Like Oz once said to not pay attention to the man behind the curtain

They say change is NOT good, that is for certain.

The old guard will shudder

and the young will stutter

if they are not using Jesus as their RUDDER.

Tag. Your turn.

Michigan Cherry.

Ralph & Alice Kramden

Rubi said...

Dear Ralph and Alice
Thanks for stopping by.
Thank you for your input.
And thanks for your reply.

And you’re absolutely right.
But I remember the things that Jesus said.
Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum.
Today, right now, the whole Church is broken bread.

I think it very unChristlike
that marriage erase an ordination.
I think it rather shallow
that women still viewed as a lesser creation.

I know church authority doesn’t like to hear this.
And I know that I’m dancing on the edge.
But if the M.Div. is not respected
Couldn’t we, shouldn’t we
at least respect the people here instead?

Really, it’s rather silly
that we do this dance of cluster.
But it just all gets so much worse
When in steps a dance adjuster.

I only voice on to this electronic parchment
That which has been and is in my prayer.
And while I know that some don’t like it,
Hey, don’t shoot me. . .I’m only the piano player.

Still, I offer prayers for our Archbishop.
For he inherited this dance.
And it really is not his fault
that the music goes askance.

My dearest Ralph and Alice,
Despite this whole big mess
I’m so happy you came by.
I feel so very blessed.

If ever you feel like poetic prayer
Just remember this church mouse
For, my friends, all are always welcome
At my Liturgy House.

Anonymous said...

My neighbor and I find ourselves in the cluster dance too. It really sucks. Sorry not to write a poem like your other comments. But I never was very creative. I guess that's why my husband never let me be in the show. Anyhow, thanks for writing this. It's funny, but it's true.

-Lucy Ricardo

Rubi said...

My Dearest Lucy,

I'm so sorry that you're dancing this stupid dance. I offer you my prayers. In fact, I pray for all of us in these crazy times of church.

It's funny. .. first Ralph and Alice and now you.. . leaving comments on my blog. I never thought I'd hear from old sitcom characters. . .

. . but then again, I guess it's true that Life (church) imitates art. . .

Maybe Ricky never let you be in the show. But Lady, you were the show!. . . Yes, Life imitates art. . .When will the beloved church of ours get it????

Give my regards to Ethel. . ..