And when Mom says “bedtime!” I can assure you, she means it! After MUCH debate, the rules passed AS PRESENTED, WITH NO AMENDMENTS by 92.5% of the General Conference. I hope she’ll update us later, once she gets more than 3.5 hours of sleep. (The Rules Committee met until 2 AM and then she had to stay up even longer typing out her report). (See last night’s blog post about the issue with the rules committee)
Twitter at General Conference has been so much fun to watch! The tweets discussing the rules debate was heartwarming — especially all the people tweeting (and re-tweeting):
“I hope the rules committee didn’t expect to get any sleep tonight!”
“Admire the incredible knowledge of the woman at the podium interpreting the rules for delegates”
(follow all the fun using hashtag #gc2012)
*unfortunately, wifi at the convention center (and in the hotels) is exorbitant so the only people with the ability to participate in the online conversation are U.S. citizens with smartphones. I learned today that many of the Congolese delegates communicate online constantly, so their not being able to access wifi is a major problem. Since they didn’t bring U.S.-enabled smartphones with them, U.S. delegates have a major online advantage…. perhaps we should give everybody a cell phone? 😉
Other highlights of yesterday and today:
- Receiving an e-mail from my Disciple I class with the list of people at Crossroads UMC who covenanted to pray daily for General Conference. What a blessing to know that 62+ people are praying right now for our work as a Church!
- We prayed the Lord’s Prayer (aka El Padrenuestro) simultaneously in dozens of languages by delegates and visitors from around the world.
- Speaking at the Joint Orientation for Women, People of Color, and Young People (hopefully I’ll post what I said later today) and connecting with people there
- Singing the new hymn based on Nelle Morton’s words (Metho-feminist faint comin’ on!) composed by DeLyn Celec. It debuted at the Women’s Orientation today!
- Seeing the pastor of the church I attended in college. Kirk Nave of River Road UMC in Richmond, VA, encouraged me in ministry by inviting me to preach, meeting with me individually, and writing lots of letters of recommendation for seminary applications (but I think he was disappointed chose Candler over Duke ;-))
- Really, seeing LOTS of people that I haven’t seen in ages—people that I’ve met through GCSRW, NEJ, MOP, Candler, and sometimes just the internet (i.e., facebook or twitter — I promise that I’m not on any sort of “Methodist Classifieds!” [Just kidding… “YASWFPENEJUMC seeking YASWMCDCSEJUMC” is the personals ad that got me my current boyfriend. If you can guess what those symbols stand for, you get bonus points. Answer at the bottom of this post.*
- Singing “And Are We Yet Alive.” (I wish we’d used the traditional tune, but that’s Marcia McFee for ya)
- Watching the liturgical dancers begin at the baptismal font at the entrance to the room (reflecting the font’s place in historic Christian practice… I recently snuck the font to the back for the 50 days of Easter at one of the churches I serve), dance their way down to the communion table in the center of the room, and then conclude their dance at the front of the worship space, where the Bible, cross, and light of Christ were kept
- Admiring the stoles and plain liturgical sense of the deacons (including two from the West Virginia Annual Conference!) as they surrounded the table and assisted with communion
- Laughing at the bishops who, for the life of them, cannot walk two by two in any sort of organized fashion
- Listening to Bishop Dindy Taylor (president of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women) tell the delegates that under no circumstances is it okay to touch people’s hair—no matter how different from yours it may be! (Bishop Dindy and GCORR’s Erin Hawkins did a fabulous job in diversity training this evening)
- Beginning General Conference with a “blessing of the space” by the people indigenous to what they know as the “colonial state of Florida”… I am so looking forward to our Native American rite of reconciliation later this week!
- During opening worship hearing the phrase, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.” [My roommate, the fabulous Rev. Anna Guillozet, requested that I include this quote!]
Finally, happy 83rd birthday (yesterday) to our resident and presiding bishop, Bishop William Boyd Grove. I learned today that the hymn he wrote (UMH 100 – “God Whose Love is Reigning O’er Us”) has a sixth stanza dealing explicitly with the marriage covenant. You can count on me finding it and playing it at my own wedding (whenever that is!).
*My Methodist Personals Ad (“YASWFPENEJUMC seeking YASWMCDCSEJUMC”): “Young Adult Single White Female Provisional Elder from the Northeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church seeking Young Adult Single White Male Certified Deacon Candidate of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church.” Congrats if you figured it out on your own!