Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ecclesial dross

Yes this is a bit of churchy-speak but it sounded better than what it really is - Church junk. Congregations are made up of people and people have a way of collecting things and stashing them for future use. The problem arises when the future use doesn't quite materialize the way we think it will and the stuff is left in a closet somewhere to ... well ... sit ... and take up space. It all starts with a someone saying, "Hey, we could use that" and so whatever "that" happens to be gets stuffed into a closet, or an attic, or a cupboard with full intention that someday "that" will be used. But it doesn't always work out that way.

Dross also accumulates when something has outlived its useful life BUT nobody either 1) knows how to dispose of it or 2) is fearful that if they DO dispose of it, the benefactor of the item will return to ask where it is. Option #1 is usually easier to remedy than Option #2. Option #2 can haunt you forever - especially when the benefactor has been dead 10 years but we're worried that one day their great-great-great-great-grandchild will show up and ask where the stuff we've thrown out is.

I'm in a new call and am digging through lots of dross. This past week, I uncovered what I believe to be the Queen Mother of Dross ...

Yes, it is a Tandy 1000 SL personal computer, circa 1986. For the geeks who were not yet born, check this:
The Tandy 1000 SL featured an Intel 8086 processor running at 8 MHz. The SL came with 384k of RAM pre-installed, expandable to 640k, although only 576k could be used by the operating system. Tandy 1000's shipped with MS-DOS 3.3 and DeskMate 3 in ROM, and featured an EEPROM memory chip to store BIOS settings, an improvement over the DIP switches of earlier models. It had a 5 1/4" floppy disk drive.
What's a floppy disk drive? It predates the hard disk drive. Good luck finding 5 1/4" floppy disks today ... chalk this one up to option #1.

What kind of dross is in your church closets, cupboards, and attics? I'm sure we can start a fascinating list - bring it on!!