Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Annual Conference

I have been away the last few days at Lake Junaluska located in the mountains of North Carolina.  I was attending what is called Annual Conference.  It's the yearly gathering of United Methodist pastors and lay people from across Western North Carolina.  Annual Conference is the place where the business of the denomination in our area is conducted.

Petitions are brought to the floor, amendments are suggested, amendments to the amendments are requested, substitute amendments are submitted and so on and so forth.  It's quite a tedious endeavor.  And most of the time I'm thinking "I know this is supposed to be important, but why doesn't it feel important.  Whatever happened to just trying to bring people to Jesus and make disciples?"

I don't want to paint it all in the negative.  There were moments of spiritual vitality.  These moments were the worship services, bible studies and especially the ordination service.  I had several friends who were officially ordained as pastors.  I was happy for them. 

However, I must confess that I was also saying "I should be there with them" and I wasn't alone.  There were a couple of us in the same group who should have been getting ordained and were deferred by the Board of Ordained ministry.  Hopefully, we will be able to share the experience together next year.

To summarize, Annual Conference is a frustrating and joyful experience at the same time. 

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