Let us be Grateful: Annual Conference Gratitude

So, if it isn’t clear, yet I am posting about something I am grateful on a regular basis through the month of June. I ordinarily don’t post on Saturdays, but as I am already at Annual Conference. I might as well take the time to try and be a blessing by pointing out where I have seen God over the past few days.

  • A bold speech by a young man named JJ Warren about his struggles with the church. He was bold and powerful in his words. He spoke from the heart and I was glad he was my brother in Christ. I look forward to the day when his cry for justice comes to fruition.
  • A bold correction from a seminarian who would not allow one viewpoint to stand as the only view which could be considered the “traditional” interpretation. She took her tuition money and put it into good use!
  • A powerful moment where I talked with someone on the other side of an issue. We refused to allow our differences to make us anything less than brothers in Christ.
  • Watching a young man named Ian use his voice with power and skill.
  • Connecting with a very intelligent man named Kevin. Sara is a blessed woman.
  • Watching people receive permission to make speeches that were neither for nor against on the floor of conference in a challenging moment. It was good to see people have a place to speak where there is often only stifling opposition.
  • Celebrating the life of my best friend in ministry on Thursday night. Celebrating the continuation of life with 9 other folks over Indian on Friday night.
  • I had someone who I used to pastor and now work with as a colleague ask if I’d be their spiritual director.
  • Celebrating the commissioning of a good friend this afternoon. I know it hasn’t happened yet, but I am still incredibly excited already.
  • Going to the Cokesbury table and walking away without buying anything. To be fair, there wasn’t a ton available on spiritual practices and that’s what I am really interested in at the moment. Mostly just curriculum, Bibles, and kitsch.
  • Realizing that I’ll have a new child in my arms at the next Annual Conference. That is pretty awesome.
  • The moment I realized that the best response to someone scowling at me for wearing the rainbow stole I bought for my wife was to smile with my warmest smile. I gave them the one I reserve for my kids, my wife, puppies, and babies.
  • The stories at the worship service led by Young People. “Jesus doesn’t call us to be comfortable!” “I feel valuable:..” “We can set the example for the rest of the church.”
  • The mom of a kid who is crawling around near me. I told her that we were expecting a kid after such a long time as just parents of kids who talk, walk, read, and so forth. She told me she had kids the same age as mine and that life will be fun and that it will be okay.

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