Annual Conference - Day 1
I started the day with a run to Marblehead to the lighthouse and was utterly soaked well before halfway. It was going to be a scorcher! I was serving Communion in the first session, and I was glad that we had been given the guideline to "wear what we would normally wear for serving Communion in our local churches."
Meaning no robe this year. If I'd had to wear a robe, I'd have had to turn Rob down - mine are packed already! Seriously, Rob told me that it was very hard to get people to commit to serve Communion. That was hard to understand - I consider it an honor to serve! In fact, I love the privilege of looking people in the eye and offering them "Christ's body, broken for you."
The speaker for the service was William Willimon, and he was engaging and inspiring as he talked about God's love (and how at some point, Methodists shifted from loving God and neighbor as our primary goal toward loving our buildings... ouch!). The music was, er, not exactly my thing - the "holy holy holy Lord" we sang, from "The Faith We Sing" was lackluster and boring. I haven't yet found anything in that hymn book to warrent its purchase.
There was a lot of emphasis on the Nothing But Nets campaign, including a promo in which Bishop Ough tried to make some baskets on an onstage hoop. At least his form was decent and he could actually dribble the ball (unlike some later presenters, who, though doubtlessly effective pastors and leaders, were probably the last-picked kids in gym class). He did make 1 of 4 shots (including a badly missed dunk attempt on the hoop's lowest setting - after which one of the guys who brought the hoop onstage stood and dropped the ball through the hoop).
Because of the heat and sun, we decided that this would be the best afternoon for a beach trip with the boys, so that was our afternoon. I got sunburned, but we had a good time. Andrew made friends with a little boy his age, and Jonathan kept busy building a sand castle. This is
pretty much the order of the beach: Andrew keeps busy playing, while Jonathan keeps busy working.
After dinner, I went back to session expecting to participate in a youth-led and youth-directed worship... except that the earlier session had been postponed because of a tornado warning (who knew that was what that siren meant?). That meant we had to wait for over an hour to worship. I wonder if they would have done the same thing had a bishop been speaking rather than youth-led worship. It said to me "youth or worship aren't as important as age or business."