Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Small World of the Connectional Methodist Church

Yesterday was our Charge Conference at Holy Covenant (for those who don’t know, that’s the annual meeting of the congregation in which we express joys of the year past, and discuss with hope and vision the future. This also includes technical things like approving the budget, and voting on candidates from the congregation seeking ordination).

While it is something that takes a lot of preparation on behalf of the congregation as annual reports, etc are prepared, it is actually a great meeting and a wonderful opportunity for anyone to come and hear/see the many things going on in the congregation. It was an especially joyous occasion on which we were able to report a budget in good standing, paid apportionments, and new work on the balcony that is finally underway!!!

It was also an exciting time for a completely separate reason. There are many clergy who serve in other ministry contexts who are attached to our congregation. Most of these people worship with us regularly. Lisl is a name I have heard many times- she is an elder working for the University of Chicago, but as she is newly affiliated with our congregation, I had yet to meet her. We finally met last night, and it was a wonderful occasion that nearly immediately turned to the fact that she is from the beautiful country of South Africa. She was THRILLED that I had just spent my summer in ministry with the Methodist Church there, and I was equally excited for the opportunity to have (an even brief) conversation about it with someone who understood both contexts in which I have been working. Knowing how connectional Methodists can be, she asked if I met any of the Storeys while there… and while it was indeed a brief meeting (Peter and Alan at the gay-friendly clergy gathering, and I attended the “Manna and Mercy” class with Alan), it brought us both great joy to express that I in fact did know (of) some of the people she did. Evidently she knows the Storeys very well- I believe she said Elizabeth is her godmother!

Such a small, wonderful world in which we live!! I am greatly looking forward to our future lunch date (though it can’t be until after finals for me!) when we shall be able to further explore the unexpected connections we are likely to have. And of course she wants to see pictures from this summer!

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