Yesterday I focused a lot of my energy around the covenant between the Kansas West and Zimbabwe East Annual Conferences. It was my responsibility to pull together the team that shared stories of the trip and presented the legislation. While not speaking, I probably got more anxious than was strictly necessary trying to corral the effort. It went great. Wonderful stories and testimonies shared, excellent video production, good discussion from the floor and in the end a unanimous approval. Following the presentation was the Taste of Zimbabwe dinner. I cooked up some of the vegetables over lunch break during conference and served sadza and rice during the meal. Bishop Nhiwatiwa spoke just the right amount and was encouraging, insightful and funny. I have found his words meaningful every time that he has addressed a group of which I have been a part.
A few other highlights from yesterday:
Starting off the day with a presentation of Godspell
Responding to Wesley’s historic questions in front of the annual conference along with the others to be ordained tonight.
Hearing the stories of the retirees in their own words at the retirement service last night. Especially, my Aunt Karen Osterman Fieser as she retired from over 25 years as a chaplain at Wesley Medical Center.
Meaningful conversations with various colleagues throughout the day.
A few weeks ago, we were invited in staff chapel to reflect on the cross with a small group of fellow staff. I enjoy being in conversation with those with whom I work about theology. I don’t always take the time that I need in reflection with my colleagues, so I was particularly blessed by their responses.
The cross as the first verse of a song about hope.
The cross as a catalyst.
The cross as a mystery. Understanding it less doesn’t lessen my commitment
While listening to a podcast of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! this week, I heard of the true story of a phone confessional that gives you the following options:
For advice on confessing, press one.
To confess, press two.
To listen to some confessions, press three.
As a United Methodist, I believe that confession, both individual and communal, is an important part of our Christian life. However, this just doesn’t make sense to me. I am particularly incredulous at the option to listen to someone else’s confession. Listening to confession without a relationship in community seems like religious voyeurism.
Earlier this year, you were invited to join in a conversation which sought to raise questions for The United Methodist Church. This effort was called 6 Questions for The United Methodist Church (6qumc). 6qumc officially closed on September 30.
I am working on compiling the top 6 questions in each category into a book which will be available for print or download from lulu.com. I hope that these questions will be distributed as widely as possible throughout The United Methodist Church to help shape the conversation within our denomination.
Will you consider being a part of the spread of this conversation?
Check back here a week from Friday to access the final product