Monday, November 7, 2011
Diocesan Convention....it's coming!
On Thursday I and two delegates and two alternates from our parish will head to Kanuga Conference Center for our Diocesan Convention. Now Kanuga is probably the best location for any diocesan convention in the USA. I realize that most dioceses must meet in hotels or the large-large-largest church in a diocese. So I am very grateful that we get to go to Kanuga for ours. It's a beautiful place (plus there is that fabulous Kanuga toast--which I love. I really do.)
And I know that I said in my ordination vows that I would participate in the councils of the church..and I have and I do.
BUT (you knew there was bound to be a BUT didn't you?!?)...I just wish we could do the business of the church faster, quicker, more efficiently. Could we not have Diocesan Convention every other year instead of every year? I wish there was more Jesus and fewer resolutions about who's not paying their fair share and how do we craft a resolution to twist their collective little arms behind their backs and say "Pay up!" Full disclosure: our parish does not meet the 10% minimum. We are working towards it...inch by inch, dollar by dollar...and we have come a long way but we are not there yet. We know it. I know it. The vestry knows it. I think maybe the congregation knows it. So I guess I feel like maybe we don't need a buffet of resolutions about giving to the diocese. I like what a friend and colleague of mine said yesterday in our pre-Convention gathering of the Asheville deanery:"Ten percent is the biblical tithe. We know this. We don't need an assessment or an appeals board or any more layers of bureaucracy. We need to tithe. Period."
David Gortner is our speaker this year--he'll speak about evangelism. Seminarian friends at VTS (where he is on the faculty) say he's a good teacher and a good man. I look forward to what he has to share. Maybe I'll even share some of his thoughts on this blog.
And it is always wonderful to see folks that I don't get to see very often, though now that I live in Asheville--the center of the Diocesan universe--I see people much more often than I did when I lived in the high mountains of Valle Crucis (though no place on earth compares to Valle Crucis).
There's worship,too. I always love worship. I don't have a burning desire (or the requisite gifts that prevent one from losing their mind) to go to General Convention as a delegate but I'd love to go just to worship with thousands of other Episcopalians. Did I mention I love worship?
I guess I just wonder if maybe we would grow the kingdom of heaven here on earth a little stronger and more beautiful if we took the three days we go away for convention and actually did a work project together. Or did a walk about in different parts of the diocese--those places we aren't familiar with--to see the good works being done.
Okay, so I am a little lukewarm about Diocesan Convention this year. I will most likely change my mind once I park my car at Kanuga, lasso my neck with a name tag and see the first smiling face of someone I love (and there are many here in this diocese). So, a few more days to get things done in the parish and at home before hi ho hi ho it's off to Convention we go.