The origin of the expression, mea culpa, is from a traditional prayer in the Mass of the Roman Catholic Church known as Confiteor (Latin for “I confess”), in which the individual recognizes his or her flaws before God. Well, I’m about to do the same. It has been brought to my attention that a recent blog post was misinterpreted by an individual (or individuals) and I wanted to provide further explanation and clarity.
I often blog about my work. (It’s a major trend that is happening at a number of leading churches.) One of the reasonings I do this is because there are a lot of people who don’t understand what it is we do in Communications. They don’t understand the hours and work that go into a particular project. We often get comments that we don’t fill our time. I like to blog about proceedings here at CCC so I can pull back the curtain and people can see that a lot is going on with our staff. Sometimes I share frustration, but I am always aware to bring it back into the positive. I don’t want this blog to be some sounding board for gripes and complaints. That’s not healthy, and not really too biblical either.
Since I started working here in 2005 I’ve always posted my thoughts on all things CCC related. (Some old entries were on an old MySpace blog I had. Remember MySpace?) Whenever someone has had an issue or difference of opinion regarding something I wrote it is usually due to something I said that was purposefully taken out of context by the individual. I’m no stranger to this. The missions organization I use to work at went through a ministry split during my time of employment. I emailed a friend a lengthy opinion as to why I was staying with the ministry. The response? I received a terse email of thanks for my opinion, but then they edited my email and forwarded it on to a number of people to fuel the conflict even more. They changed my words and purported it as me slamming and denigrating those who would dare consider leaving the ministry. Of course, a majority of people who received this email believed it to be true. (We Christians tend to believe the worst in people, especially when it justifies our opinions or prejudices.)
When I realized what happened to me with the forwarded email misrepresenting me, I felt helpless, angry, violated, back-stabbed and a lot more. (A lot of this was due to the circumstances with what was going on at the ministry.)
I can’t control what someone may do with my words, how they may interpret them, but I need to be providing context and clarity when something could be misconstrued adversely. In the recent post And That’s A Wrap! I didn’t provide the necessary context and clarity on some topics, and apparently I’ve offended some people. That’s my fault and I’m sorry I didn’t provide that context and clarity in the post.
Regarding the recent production on The Incredulity of Caroline, the short film we made for this year’s Easter services, we used actors from a local talent agency. There were questions whether we paid the actors we used because I mentioned we used a local talent agency. This is not the case. Nobody on the cast or crew was paid any salary for their work. Normally, to use actors from an agency you have to pay a hefty fee to get a notice to the actors that are a part of the agency. Because of our non-profit status we paid a reduced rate (I believe $50) to get a notice to the actors in this agency about an audition for the production. We were up front with all the actors auditioning that they were not going to be paid, this was on a volunteer basis.
The bigger issue was the perception I was denigrating the drama personnel, as a whole, here at the church. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When this was relayed to me I was speechless because I’ve had great experiences with a lot of our drama personnel. They are a great group. I’ve always tried to show my appreciation for their work when I’m working with them on a project. In fact, here are some snippets from a post last December about working with the drama personnel on the American Idol parody:
- the cast was tremendous with their respective parts
- the stars of our production were the judges
- the individual performances were great
- we also had a number of volunteers help us out…Heather Weed who has been great throughout this project and was a tremendous help
Since I started working here in 2005, I’ve helped with a number of drama and video productions. Have I had some bad experiences over those four years? Yes. However, it could be construed that this is the norm, from my words in the referenced post, when that isn’t the case. Once again, my fault for the poor wording. (“Mea culpa.”)
I was blessed to work with the actors we used in The Incredulity of Caroline, they have a high level of excellence and training in their craft, but I have been blessed with some of the drama personnel here at CCC as well with their commitment and talent. Some people who immediately come to mind are Heather Weed, Nick Swanson, Keith Holmes, Lynne Holt, Todd Dillon, Jon Steir, and there are many more.
The tough thing with this production was getting people to commit to the schedule. On this production I was not involved with casting the lead actors or extras, but one thing I kept hearing was it was tough finding CCC people that had the schedule to do the shoot. The days we needed extras were an all-day shoot on a Thursday and Saturday. It’s near impossible to get or expect our volunteer drama personnel to take off from work so they can help us with a shoot. Plus, many of them have kids and it’s hard to find childcare for an entire day.
Also, a number of the CCC drama personnel had commitments with things going on here with the Easter services. This past Sunday, at our Palm Sunday service, a number of the drama personnel were part of a drama in service. (By the way, I thought it was a solid drama that added to the message and theme of the morning and series.)
I hope this provides some context and clarity for those of you who read this blog. (I am continually amazed by the number of people who do read these posts.) Anyway, it was my fault for the room for misinterpretation with the blog post. CCC is blessed with great volunteers, like our drama personnel. I know that firsthand. We are careful with our finances, which I’ve blogged about before last fall. I do wish those that did have an issue with what I wrote would have contacted me directly, because I do think the explanation would have been easy and simple. Maybe next time, or perhaps I shouldn’t say “next time” because that insinuates that I’ll offend someone again with this blog. Yeah, maybe next time. Next time we’ll have that conversation.