“Suck up Sunday” is what best sums up the final business session of this Annual Conference. If I gained a penny everytime someone brown-nosed someone else, and a dime every time Bishop Dorff was being pandered to I would have enough money to fund the SWTX Conference for the next quadrennium. I know the Bishop does a great job and deserves to get some recognition for all of the hard work he does, but seriously we looked like Catholics the way we stood up to clap then sat back down then stood right back up, over and over again. I wonder what it would look like if we Methodists spent as much time praising Jesus as we spend praising one another, but I digress. The business session did have a few final reports, one irked me slightly because the report on the status and role of women was given by an old white man. Sure men can serve on that board, and of course men can be concerned about how women are treated in our Church, but really? They couldn’t have at least had some sort of minority represented? I would have settled for an old white man that needed a cane or hearing aid at least. But I digress.
My conference really does try its best to foster a community of Methodist diversity as evidenced by the special guest speakers Jim Winkler and Rob Renfroe (no they aren’t minorities either). And they do work really hard to get “younger” people to participate in the Church’s governance. By “younger” people they mean anyone under 35, which the age of what defines younger will probably move up as the Church’s average continues to climb upwards of 57.
Our last and final worship session was great. Rev Jorge Acevedo (a minority :P) returned again to deliver one last sermon for us. And he challenged us to stop being professional Christians, and to start being actual Christ-followers. He spoke of his own shortcomings making the hard lesson easier to bear. The appointments were finalized, the District Superintendents were prayed for, and another year in the SWTX Conference has been started, this July 1st will be the consummation of said new year as each minister is moved where the Bishop has placed them. The journey back to Austin was a long one, and the journey back to Denton from Austin felt even longer, but I did arrive safely.
|View of the convention center from the Omni hotel.|
This weekend has proved one thing to me, that I really love my Church. Not just my local church, or the global UMC, but I really love MY Annual Conference. The eclectic group and people that make it fill it with so many different flavors and fragrances, like an ice cream shop. And like ice cream, too much of these personas can make one very tired and borderline sickly, but if you are around for only a few days (4 to be precise), you get to see Jesus in so many different faces, and like the right amount of ice cream, it refreshes you and makes you very glad.