Last night I turned to Jan and told her, "I still cannot believe that we are here". We arrived here Tuesday evening and were quickly drawn into the beginning of history. Literally, the United Methodist Church celebrated its 40th Anniversary yesterday. The birthplace took place in Dallas, TX..only 30 miles from where we currently are now. I watched in awe as the video of the merging churches was broadcast over the big screen.
Later that evening, Jan said something about how she couldn't understand why some people kept commenting to us (before we arrived) about HAVING to be at General Conference. Both of us replied each time, "have to? We don't have to..we want to!" The worship service we saw last night was something that I wish our local churches could participate and see first hand. Often, I believe we, those of us that attend conferences and other gatherings, sometimes take for granted all of the opportunities we have. To often I believe that we forget about how many people do not realize or get a chance to see what we see. Imagine 6500 people gathered together (that was how many that were in worship) singing together in one voice. Something must be said for the feeling of unity and peace.
After a beautiful evening of dancers, music, and worship, we began our preliminary proceedings. It was a time of answering questions, voting on how we were going to vote, and how we would proceed. Admittingly, at times it was boring..but as Jan said, "John Wesley would be proud!". However, we did not end until closer to 11pm, then met with our delegation until later. By the time we went to bed it was 1:30am.
Today....what a day. We first heard from the Connectional Table as they reported on where and how our money is spent. One of the inspirations that stuck out for me personally? A 7 year old girl by the name of Katherine. She was so inspired by the Nothing But Nets campaign was able to raise over $10,000 for Nothing But Nets. She was able to do this by creating a diorama to educate people about Nothing But Nets. Doesn't this prove that all of us are not only called, but have the capability of going out and being Disciples! I was inspired and uplifted to see how our money is at work in the church. More later on this perhaps..