Written by Connor Kenaston, Lay Reserve Delegate from WV
And so it begins… After a long flight, time changes, and not enough sleep, I have finally arrived in Portland! Honestly, much of the first day of General Conference was wonderful. I was surprised at how many people I already knew! In many ways, the first day really felt like a family reunion. Seeing all those friendly faces brought a rush of smiles, hugs, and memories. The intentionally inclusive worship was also powerful. There are few other times in one’s life when one is surrounded by such a rich diversity. It is truly wonderful to worship in a way that reflects the kingdom of God.
However, General Conference encompasses more than the joy of family-like reunions and powerful worship. And sadly, the first day’s legislative duties brought much of the logjam, confusion, and frustrations that many people had been fearing in the buildup to General Conference. Emotions were not high, but parliamentary strategy, complex rule procedures, and insider-language was running rampant. The decision to delay adopting the rules caused a great degree of confusion and even included us having to work until 9:30pm when we would have finished at 6:30pm!
The letdown of having struggled much and accomplished little is difficult, but I am still hopeful. I am hopeful due to the conversations that I’ve had with other delegates about the future for the church. I’m hopeful due to the reminder of the power of communion and scripture. In all our different languages, cultures, experiences, dreams, and hopes, the Spirit can truly flourish, and so I remain hopeful.
But then again, it’s only Day One 😉