Tuesday, June 12, 2007

down from the mountain

It is re-entry time, having descended from the mountain of Lake Junaluska (elevation: 3000 feet) to Charlotte. I love the mountains, but i also love the city. What can I say?

This conference was exhausting, because of the voting processes leading to General and Jurisdictional conferences (we have not discovered computerized keypads). I was elected as a delegate, my second time for General Conference, my fourth for Jurisdictional Conference. If you don't know what those conferences are all about, you might be congratulating me right now. If you do, you might be extending condolences.

I am glad to be a part of the process, even as I realize how wrenching it will be. Or maybe Fort Worth will be different than Pittsburgh or Cleveland. Maybe.

I begin year five at Providence. That, in all honesty, is a tremendous gift and blessing.

We have several staff vacancies right now, which is driving all of us a little crazy, actually alot crazy. The vacancies have arisen for different and unrelated reasons: retirement, restructuring, vocational confusion, additional help needed in an area. But they have all come at once.

A senior staff retreat has been whittled from two days away to one day on-site to a morning followed by lunch. We don't have the time to gather, but we need to gather. It is an odd reality that planning is most necessary when there are significant changes afoot, and yet in those very times planning seems like a luxury.

I am really looking forward to worship at Providence this Sunday. Worship at our church is amazing. We will have communion at 8:30. I am looking forward to that too.

I have completed one writing project for the Center of Theological Inquiry, and am in the midst of another one, for the Christian Century. Then there is a writing project for the Circuit Rider in July.

We've experienced four deaths in two weeks. A close friend called to say that his father, who is a good friend, has liver cancer.

A church conference is scheduled for this Sunday----we are hoping to expand our parking and columbarium.

Our older daughter flies to Japan tomorrow, for the summer.

Our younger daughter graduated from high school yesterday morning; a great part of all of that was a lunch we shared in a restaurant that overlooks a part of our region. Even though it was overcast it was all very beautiful. Our younger daughter begins college orientation tomorrow. It really does seem like she was boarding the kindergarten bus, only yesterday, carrying the Disney lunchbox.

Our young student from Haiti returns to Cap Haitien for two months next week. He is doing quite well---all A's in his studies here thus far.

Lots of good things, a few challenges, a couple of them major, a few opportunities. I am counting the blessings and asking for guidance and strength, and perhaps even a little stability!


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