A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Some Ponderments Post Annual Conference

Last week the East Ohio Annual Conference met at beautiful Lakeside, Ohio. This was my twenty-eighth AC and I have some ponderments I would like to share:
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Anyone who attends her or his Annual Conference each year knows that the great joy is to spend time and be with friends (pastoral and lay) that have not been seen for a year. I truly enjoy being with my friends and colleagues who make my life rich. The holy conferencing that Father John Wesley spoke of does not only happen during the sessions; it also takes place outside over coffee and meaningful reflection with other delegates.
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I was so pleased to hear the report our delegates gave in reference to our General Conference in Tampa. Anyone who reads this blog knows how tough I was on the General Conference. It was a very discouraging and frankly angering experience. To hear that the delegates we sent from East Ohio were none-too-happy with the fiasco in Tampa was very heartening. It tells me we sent the right people to GC.
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Our Annual Conference had its dull moments. In a year after GC all we hear are reports, many of which could simply be read in the Conference Journal. I do not believe that is the best use of our time.
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We had an opportunity this year to vote to move toward a three day AC as opposed to four. The majority kept it at four. Seriously? What's up with that?
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The best part of Annual Conference is the preaching and worship. Since I preach every Sunday I never get to hear sermons. I come to Annual Conference hoping to hear preaching that will challenge me and make me think. Most years I am not disappointed. This year was no exception.
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The Service of Commemoration on Monday morning is always so meaningful. How appropriate to lift before the Body of Christ the great saints, clergy and laity, who have gone on to their reward. As each year progresses, I know more and more of them. Time moves on to be sure, but both time and eternity are in the hands of God.
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Each year we open the service by singing, "For All the Saints." I can hardly get through it without tears. I am very grateful for the saints who have gone on to their reward and  who have made our journey in faith possible
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The ordination service is always a wonderful time of worship. Each year I am reminded of my own ordination when I was told to take authority to administer the sacraments and to preach. Each year former seminary students take those vows and I am proud of them. I am now quite proud to call them colleagues in ministry.
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Before one leaves Lakeside, one must stop at The Whistle Stop and get their cheese popcorn. It is the perfect end to a wonderful week.

4 comments:

Cinda Starr said...

Allan, you really hit the nail on the head. I would be interested in seeing/hearing your comments concerning all of the resolutions.

Allan Bevere said...

Hi Cinda,

Frankly, I have very little use for resolutions. I think they are a whole lot of wind and offer very little substance.

How's that?

Scott Russ said...

I wish I could say the same for the West Ohio Conference.
http://www.scottruss.blogspot.com/2012/07/west-ohio-conference-2012-good-bad-and.html
I would also recommend stopping at Jolly Rogers for a walleye sandwich on your way out! Lakeside is a great place for conferencing.

Scott Russ said...

Actually now that I think about it, didn't you guys only have 4 resolutions?? Did you really need 4 days for each one? We had TEN!!! And we managed to cram them into 3 days surprisingly.