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IGRC 2007 Wrap-Up

June 11, 2007

This year at Annual Conference we had a spa. Here is a photo of me receiving a scalp massage from the Bishop.

Not really. This is the moment that Bishop Sharon Brown-Christopher laid hands on me for commissioning. This is actually a photo of the projected image from the video screen. That was an awesome moment, and in the brief time I’ve spent with the commissioned class of 2007 I am certain that God is at work in our lives and in the United Methodist Church.

I think, though, the most awesome part of the commissioning-ordination service was the Eucharistic celebration. The Bishop led the Great Thanksgiving, broke the bread, and those of us being ordained and commissioned served the body of the conference. All of the older Elders (which I guess is only not a really redundant phrase in this context) looked really proud of us newbies. There was a sense that the Spirit was really moving during those moments.

All around, I was impressed that our debate did not get as far out-of-control as it often does, say, in the blogosphere. There were certainly fun moments, but for the most part it was rather irenic. The process of electing General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference delegates was really cumbersome and took up a colossal amount of time.

For the last several years, the pastors have suggested that we hold Annual Conference on Wednesday through Saturday so that we could be back in the pulpit on Sunday morning. Being gathered for Sunday worship with the other pastors of the conference is awesome, but it is taxing on the local congregations – there just aren’t enough retired pastors and lay speakers to go around. However, I was physically drained by the time I took the pulpit yesterday morning. We really need to end by noon or one on Saturday. Most of us have a loooong drive (Peoria is at the northern end of the conference map, and for those of us farther south – and there really is no straight shot there) the drive is taxing. Especially if there are kids in the car. I preached though I kind of felt like a zombie (making this a zombie-in-the-pulpit post for John). By 5:00 I was down for the night. I feel a lot better today. Next year I’m gonna do my blogging from the floor.

Photos: Top – the moment of commissioning.
Middle – the sign my brother and son placed on their table at the service.
Bottom – My wife, my sons and some commissioned goofball. Photo by my mom.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott permalink
    June 13, 2007 3:00 pm

    And at no time did we sing the lyrics or hum the tune to Sufjan Stevens’ “Prairie Fire that Wanders About” from his “Illinoise” album…

    Peoria! Destroyia!
    Infinity! Divinity!

    For Lydia! Octavia!
    And Jack-of-Trades!
    The Cubs! Hooray!

    The Opera House
    Where Emma sang!
    America! Oh will it play?

    And Santa Clause!
    The Great Parade!
    Peoria!
    You have it made!

    (Why do I have this album on my iPod? I have no idea! But admitting that I have a problem is the first step to healing!)

  2. June 14, 2007 7:24 am

    Willie,
    it was so good to meet you at conference. hopefully i’ll see you more often now that i’m moving your way!

  3. June 14, 2007 7:24 am

    Is you on the Sufjan bandwagon now? Or did that get on your iTunes on account of your daughter (which seems more likely to me)?

  4. June 14, 2007 7:24 am

    Hey Jason! Yeah, good to meet you too.

  5. Scott permalink
    June 14, 2007 1:07 pm

    No bandwagon. I actually borrowed it from a friend & ripped it to the library out of curiosity. I have his Christmas album too – but that was mostly to fulfill my Christmas Album fetish.

  6. June 15, 2007 8:02 am

    blessings 🙂

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