I'm currently reeling from the news that I was elected to lead the delegation of folks from our Annual Conference to General Conference next spring. I'm not entirely sure what this will mean (and I suspect its many meanings will come into being as we go along), but I'm sure that it feels like a daunting task.
In many ways.
But, before I get to the daunting, I ought to say how honored and flattered I feel. Whatever the reasons people felt compelled to vote for me, I feel honored that they would think me worthy of this role. Even those of us clergy who are given to cynicism about the church are likely to want to send good people to make church policy. We all have to live with church policy.
And, I hope my election is a sign of hope for things to come--in younger generations and in training and trusting new leaders. We don't always have a lot of hope when we talk about General Conference and denominational trends and such.
A lot of young people--and, most definitely, my dear friend Erika--advocated and campaigned toward my election. I don't think any of us really believed it possible until we saw the results of the first ballot.
So I'm hoping that being the person with the right to be on the Conference floor, participating in legislative committee and voting and all, will not be as frustrating as watching the Conference floor was 8 years ago. I don't have great confidence in the chances that things will go as I'd like at General Conference. (I'm too insistent that we need to be truly welcoming of gay and lesbian people, for example.) But I'm open to that possibility.
In the meantime, I have lots of prayerful figuring to do--what committee I'd most like to be on, how I'll relate to the others on the delegation and others in other delegations, whether to dress like others expect for delegates or like I'd prefer, how to balance being taken seriously and being a different, new style that the church might well need.
It's a good thing I have 'til April.