Here are some of my favorite moments from Annual Conference 2007 (in no particular order):
Meeting up with fellow 35 and under clergy Tuesday morning. It was great to sit around and get to know some others from my generation. Funny thing: nobody talked about church politics or political leanings. At all. That just doesn't drive us like it does our 40+ colleagues. In fact, we are generally a whole lot more interested in making disciples for Jesus Christ than we are in fighting over doctrinal stances.
To follow that thought, after we returned to the conference only to find that they were voting on General Conference delegates (and we all had green nametags, meaning we had no vote), we spent our time hanging out on the wall outside Hoover, just continuing our conversations, laughing (especially at the nimbleness of the Church).
As usual, I enjoyed my runs and conversations with Rob. He is a good friend, and it's always fun to get together and run with him.
It showed me some of Bryan's character that he wanted to walk with me because he "Just thought a guy waiting to be ordained shouldn't have to stand alone, waiting to be ordained. Nothing worse than going through ministry alone, so I just wanted you to have someone there, if only for a brief moment, standing up for you." That meant a lot to me, and it showed me what kind of person he is.
I loved watching Jonathan run into the water at the beach. We initially tried to bring the boys to the kiddie pool, but it was closed (story was that some toddler puked in it). So we went to the beach - last year Jonathan would have nothing to do with the water, and he was initially timid, but after he saw the "big boys" running into the water, he decided he would do it, too. And he loved it. I just wish I'd had my camera for that - seeing his joyful face as he ran into the water, squealing with joy.
It was also great having friends there. Beyond the clergy friends who I usually see at Hoover and around the conference, it seems like once I go back to the rental house, there's not much connection. As an extrovert, I sometimes like having people over! So it was cool to meet Kim and Eric, who stayed across the street from us (this was the first conference I've been to in which I actually met any of my "neighbors") and to hang out with them (and Brian C, who organized the U35 clergy get-together). Likewise, it was neat when I came back from the Ordination service to find that Mindy and Lester (from my church) had come up to the house to hang out for a while. But it was also a lot of fun having my sister and her husband (check out the pics he posted of our kids) and their family come stay with us. Jonathan really loved having Mark around and it was fun having people to talk to when we got back to the house. And it was fun having people to go out with - to the park, to the beach, to the lighthouse.
I'll post another time about the Conference itself...