In one’s fondest dreams, one could never make this stuff up. It goes beyond parody, because with utterly no effort of any kind, it parodies itself.
The Task Force appointed pursuant to Resolution 2012-C0195 to develop plans to restructure ECUSA has now released its opening statement. And, wonder of wonders: (a) they have themselves a new acronym; and (b) their statement is a prime specimen of Episcospeak in its purest form observed to date.
Their new acronym—“TREC”—is based on their deciding to call themselves the “Task force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church.” Of course, the rest of us may simply refer to it as “T-REC”—short for “Train Wreck”.
Here is a classic example of Episcospeak from their statement:
We have started the process of developing an engagement strategy that will enable us to live into our commitment to transparency while preserving the sanctity of holy conversation….
This is Episcospeak at the pinnacle of its ability to say nothing in many words. They have started the “process” of developing (whoops, we’re not there yet) an engagement strategy to live into their “commitment to transparency”—why, of course they have. Translation:
At some point we will have to be open about what we are doing. But we are not there yet, because our talk among ourselves at this stage is still “holy.” (We are being led by the Holy Spirit, remember?)
We hope eventually to have a strategy to dip our toes into the water. But first we have to develop such a strategy, and before we can do that, we have to undertake a process for developing such a strategy.
As of today, we may confidently state that we have entertained the beginnings of that process.
Their statement continues in the same vein:
We further aim not only to provide a window into our work, but to provoke a parallel process of dialogue around questions of identity, structure, and culture at all levels of the church….
We do intend to be transparent; the question is: to what degree? We think that we might provide a window of sorts. (But not a real big one, because those conversations of ours are “holy” [see above].)
Well, we’re thinking about it. At least, that is our present intention.
And, hey—guess what? At the very same time we’re thinking about providing a small window on our doings, we’re going to see if we can stir up [“provoke”—sic] another process—this time, one that is focused on dialogue around certain questions, i.e., without actually answering those questions. They’re the usual ones of who we are, how we are organized, and what each of us brings to the table. Lots and lots of opportunity for talking here—maybe we’ll even see if we can stir things up using media like Twitter and Facebook. [Translator’s note: that last bit comes from reading between the lines; it’s not in the literal text. But then we are talking Episcopeak.]
And we are not done yet:
To facilitate that discernment, we plan to offer a range of opportunities to obtain input and feedback from all corners of the church, and we urge all members to reflect prayerfully alongside us and to offer their insights and wisdom. These opportunities will be unveiled in the coming weeks….
“Facilitate discernment”? Through a “process of dialogue” that talks about questions, but does not answer them? (So now, [ECUSA-style] indaba = discernment?)
“Reflect alongside us”? (While we are looking through that little window you graciously provided?)
I cannot go on—I have to stop here. My apologies.
You will have to get through it on your own.
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