It is an absolutely beautiful spring day here in Maryland. What a gift that I am leaving for the beach this afternoon, to spend an evening with some church staff. Tomorrow, we have big plans to sit on the beach and do worship planning. How better to plan worship than to glory in God's creation as we prepare? (And perhaps how thoroughly distracting- but it sure sounds great, doesn't it?)
Then it is time for Annual Conference at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (no beach there, unfortunately). Every June, pastors and other church folks from every church in our geographic region (Conference) get together for worship, ministry reporting, planning, and voting. This year has an added once in four years bonus- we will be voting for our delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. General Conference is the international body that sets all of our "laws" and social stances, meeting in 2008 in Texas this time. Jurisdictional Conference is where Bishops are elected. All of the women Bishops in our Northeastern Jurisdiction (Maryland to New England) will be retiring this year; it will be a pivotal Conference. But then I guess they all are.
I'm really praying that Conference will be a blessing, and truly a time of "Holy Conferencing" as we Methodists like to talk about it.
Until next week....