Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Blogger Reconsiders...

Earlier today, I posted what was a rough re-construction of the timeline of events leading up to a current crisis between President Jeff Greenway and the Board of Trustees of Asbury Theological Seminary. While the post borrowed liberally from a document freely released into the public domain by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, I speculated enough about how this situation came into being using rumor floating around the campus that, given the current climate, made me feel like I could possibly create additional chaos.

This purpose of this blog is two-fold: to be a personal release for me from the demands of this doctoral program, and to inform friends and family of what is going on with the Bucher clan as we spend this year in Wilmore. Later in the day, I checked on my sitemeter, to find that my post was actually serving a third purpose - a source of news about the seminary, of which I was not comfortable. It was clear by the number of hits received (elevated, to say the least), where they were coming from (Google searches with the words indicating that people were looking for information pertaining to Jeff Greenway), and the location of those hits (let's just say they weren't regulars to the blog) that my blog post was being used in ways that are not in line with its purpose. I claim not to be a journalist or a community muckraker. If a local newspaper or other form of electronic media chooses to do a story on the comings and goings of ATS, so be it. That function, however, is not in this blog writer's perview. Thus, freely, of my own accord, I chose to remove the post.

There's no conspiracy, just a man who doesn't want to pour gasoline on a fire.

The only piece of the post that will remain here is my own observation that the fallout between the acting President and the Board of Trustees is causing great sadness here because the impasse to so incongruent with the value the people associated with Asbury put on community. It is a value incorporated into the very fabric of the educational experience, which is different than what you'll find other places. There is a belief here that the maintenance of community not just in the classroom, or outside the classroom, or among the students, but amongst all of us connected to this place is as important as the information transmitted in a class setting. This, for me, was counter-intuitive to what I expected before I arrived, because the school has a reputation for being theologically and socially conservative.

I had made a judgement that conservatives are more individually oriented than communal. This experience proved my judgement to be a prejudice. For it is the breaking of community that grieves people here right now more than anything else. More than the school's reputation, possible future ramifications, or what deep-seeded issues might be at hand currently, the people here are concerned about the brokenness of a community that is held in a sacred trust. This proved personally touching and humbling, all at the same time... and that's really what I wanted to say today.

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