I have composed several posts in my head in the last 24 hours. I thought I ought to get something in print. So much going on and so many thoughts are swirling through my mind.
First off, I had a call from Fred Kellerman, lay delegate from Lewisburg. His dear wife, Scarlett, is ill and he has made the tough decision to not go to General Conference. I am so sorry that he won’t be able to come. Scarlett, also, was looking forward to the trip – she went to GC 2008, and was always a warm and caring support for Fred and all of us. We will miss both of them! But – this is why we name reserves and why they plan to go to General Conference. So Royce Lyden has been called in to (full-time) service, and will serve in Fred’s place. Having been a reserve, I can only imagine being informed of this move two days before leaving! I have no doubt that she will do a great job. For a little while, I wondered if I might change legislative committees because the committee that Fred is on (Higher Ed) has a lot more petitions coming to them than Faith and Order (where I will serve), and Royce would have more easily been able to digest F&O quickly. However, after checking this with the Secretary of General Conference, I learned that the reserve delegate must serve on the committee of the person she is replacing. So, I will continue to serve in Faith and Order. All is good; and Royce will soon be an expert. Our prayers remain with Scarlett and Fred for a good recovery – I know their prayers are with us as well.
We also had the sad news that Bill Wilson’s brother died suddenly and Bill will delay travelling to General Conference until after the funeral. Bill will be Monitor Extraordinaire (or some similar title) as he heads up the Monitoring Teams (where Diane is also assigned). We are all thinking of Bill through these tough days and pray that he feels the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Please keep Bill and his family in prayer. And may the memories of a loved brother bring blessings in a sad time.
Speaking of prayers, I am so grateful for those of you who are praying for me through this time of preparation. Obviously, the folks from LUMC and Crossroads/Waverly, but more than that. Each week for the last two months, I have received a card in the mail from folks from Beckley Temple. They have sent prayers and scripture. I have kept all the cards and, as I look back through them, I am so grateful for this committed group. They aren’t the only ones from the conference that I’ve heard from, but they are the most consistent. Any of you who have sent letters and notes, please know how much they are appreciated.
And, finally, as I was packing “essential papers” to take with me, I ran across the DVD sent to the delegates to help us prepare for General Conference. I stuck it in the DVD player while I was emptying the refrigerator of all the food that doesn’t need to sit in there for the next two weeks. As I listened to it, I was aware of all the delegates travelling to the US. They have had to apply for Visas, had interviews (sometimes multiple times), and then planned all the things that are involved in international travel. Nearly 40% of the delegates in attendance will be from outside the US. While I have to decide what clothes to pack and make sure that I have medication that I need, and clean out my refrigerator, I do not have to worry about getting around when I don’t know the language, or eating strange food, or having my passport and visa and all my papers in order. One of the cautions to the Central Conference delegates on the DVD was about wearing jewelry coming through airport security (Suggestion: Don’t wear it). So, today, I ask you to join me in prayer for the Central Conference delegates who will be arriving in Tampa today. May their travels be more joyful than frustrating, and may their welcome be one that comes from family member to family member!
It was funny watching the DVD and picking out people I knew. There was a good shot of Mary Ellen Finegan in legislative committee. Another of our delegation taking a vote and apparently finding something amusing (yes, we do laugh as well!) Safe travels to all! More from Tampa….