Okay, whoever pushed dinner back from 5:45 pm to 6:15 pm…grrrrr on you! Some of us are HUNGRY.
Anyways, so today was a busy day. The morning was spent eating eggs, bacon, and yogurt. The morning session went as expected. A paper ballot was passed out (I was the only Church Wide candidate for Young Adults) which seemed weird since we have these fun clicker things to use. After the paper ballot was passed, we went ahead and watched a lovely ELCA video, heard a stirring message from Pastor Ruben Duran (who is wonderful and full of good lines “The ELCA is 24; time to get out of the house!”) The voting clicker things were explained. And then viability norms were brought up.
After a series of small group discussions, amendments were made, we spent a lot of time talking about what it means to “call a pastor,” and then went went ahead and passed the sucker. We spent a lot of time without changing anything, really. I honestly came to realize that we should have taken viability norms after the strategic plan. By framing it that way (talking about death after we talk about life), I felt that a lot of the viability issues would be directed properely to the strategic plan. But, well, we got through it. Reports were also given and me and the leader at St. Lydias were acknowledged as people in the candidacy process. Why we’re the ONLY ones here seems, well, kind of silly to me. If we’re being formed for leadership, why not see how the church works? Or maybe the idea is for us to not scare us off.
After lunch (which, sadly, was terrible; untasty possibly and I had to skip dessert), I geared up for my presentation. I was part of a duo discussing Project Connect, the Lily Funded organization designed to help bring new, young, emerging adults, into ministry. It went well, I had all the funny lines, and my partner was a lovely woman from Long Island. We geared up with the plan to present right after lunch. But then we noticed that the Strategic Plan discussion was pushed forward. So…we had to wait.
While people talked about the Strategic Plan. And, like always, we talked a lot. And I think a lot us crashed since it was after lunch. The changes directed towards the plan were tied to evangelism, money, and pastoral care to congregations. The presentation by the committee was fine but long. The discussion was fine but with lots of the same faces appearing at the mics. At one point, I even got up to speak against an amendment but someone stole my thunder (and it failed to pass anyways). Two changes were made to the plan (word changes), and it passed, an hour behind schedule. And then, my debut performance before the Synod initated.
It went well. I enjoyed myself up there, name dropped my professor’s class, tried to be funny, and only lost my place once (but no one could tell). While I’m sitting here, people keep coming up to me saying I did a great job. After the presentation came a presentation by LTSP. And then the document pertaining to “Sacramental Practices” came up – and it was pushed to the next assembly. Now, to be 100% honest, it shouldn’t have been. I learned that the practice of deacons using reserved sacrament in this synod is very prevalent. And, if that is the case, why are we not addressing that issue when we just passed viability norms where “calling a pastor” was on the list? Should we not further define our vision of Order at the same time we’re doing such clarification work when it comes to our vision of ourselves? It shouldn’t have been tabled, the time limit be damned. But it was and, well, bah.
Election results were announced (Churchwide here I come!!!) and a second ballot using the clicky things was done. After more reports, I’m not waiting for dinner to start. People are milling about, the bar is full, and I’m excited because the misses is coming up for the night. I’ll be schmoozing with old seminary people and she’ll be living it up at the pool. This is the good life.