A Chance to Vote

File_000 (8)Serving as a reserve delegate comes with both joys and challenges.

Joys: There’s less pressure! If I need to take an hour for my health (read: sanity), I can do that and not feel guilty about missing a vote or an opportunity to share my voice. This provides more time to share with friends, old and new, which has been my favorite part of General Conference thus far.

Challenges: I cannot vote or participate in discussions! It can be incredibly frustrating to be unable to share a point or perspective that hasn’t yet been voiced. Also, reserves never know when they’re going to get the chance to fill in for a delegate so you always have to be ready. Being a reserve is kind of like being an understudy in a musical–you may never get the chance to perform, but you still have to learn all the lines, music, and dances just in case!

Yesterday, I did finally get a chance to participate! One of the West Virginia lay persons (and a good friend of mine), decided she needed a break during yesterday’s morning session which meant that I was able to sit on the floor and even take two (unimportant) votes! Yes, I didn’t actually impact anything (honestly, the best part was really that delegates can plug in their computers/phones while reserves do not have plugs), but it still felt good to finally feel like I could participate.

And yet, while it can sometimes be frustrating not to be able to participate fully, I’m thankful. For one, I’m thankful for Erin’s generosity to forfeit her seat for a spell. Even more so however, I have appreciated the opportunity to be here for worship, prayer, and the opportunity to simply be in this space. Global Ministries talks about the need for those who rarely speak to “step forward” and those often speak to “step back.” I know this may not be a surprise, but I always have to remind myself “step back, step back, step back…” Not being allowed to talk has been good for me, and I’ve appreciated being forced to simply listen (even if it drives me crazy!) because it helps me to truly hear someone else’s perspective and opinion.

I hope that all involved (myself included) continue to give thanks for the blessings even in the midst of what can be a difficult process!

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About "Stretch Out Your Hand"

The next two years, I'll be serving as a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults between the ages of 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for two years of mission service. It grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world. I'm from West Virginia where I'm a member of Lewisburg United Methodist Church in the West Virginia Annual Conference. Last May, I graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History. I worked for the Yale College Dean’s Office and the Mayhew Program for “at risk” boys. While in school, I attended First & Summerfield United Methodist Church. My father is a United Methodist district superintendent and his mother is involved on the church’s general level. Connor S. Kenaston is a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, serving a two year term of service. The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults between the ages of 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for two years of mission service. It grew out of the faith and justice emphases of the historic United Methodist US-2 and Mission Intern programs. Global Mission Fellows become parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world. Connor is from West Virginia where he is a member of Lewisburg United Methodist Church in the West Virginia Annual Conference. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Yale University. He has worked for the Yale College Dean’s Office and the Mayhew Program for “at risk” boys. While in school, Connor attended First & Summerfield United Methodist Church. His father is a United Methodist district superintendent and his mother is involved on the church’s general level. As a pastor’s kid, the church served as a “second home” for most of my life. A Mission of Peace trip to Cuba in 2008 made a particularly strong impact on my faith journey. On this trip we saw Christ already at work in the world, and I felt a calling on my life to work for justice. My college experience also significantly affected my faith, partially because, for the first time in my life, I lived in a diverse community where most people did not identify as Christians. Consequently, this experience helped me to define who I am, what I believe, and why that’s important to me. I'm interested in serving as a Mission Fellow because I have a strong call to share of God’s love and help the church be a prophetic voice for justice. It is my responsibility to make sure the church is in service—especially with the poor and marginalized in the world.
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One Response to A Chance to Vote

  1. Reblogged this on "Stretch Out Your Hand" and commented:

    Go Team Reserve Delegate!

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