June 19, 2014
Gaggle? Troop? Fleet? Flock?
The 2014 Session of the New England Annual Conference has come to a close and many of us are just waking up from our post-conference naps. This year, under the fabulous coaching of our veteran choreographer Bonnie Marden, a new sessions team took on the leadership role. In the interest of time, we chose not to acknowledge them during the session, but now I will give them credit: David Calhoun, Effie McClain, Elizabeth Bailey Mitchell, Ralph Oduor, Kelly Turney, Kelly Santiago, Brigid Farrell, Rene Wilbur, and Alexx Wood. I also want to thank our devoted conference staff who served alongside us overtime to ensure things went smoothly.
Of course, our staff, plus a small team and a coach can’t do it all…there are dozens of people who took part in the thousands of tasks that culminate in those 4 days at Gordon College. Whether they put signs in the ground to guide us to registration, stapled meal tickets, loaded and unloaded (and loaded and unloaded again) a truckload of supplies (who knew that we move a microwave from Lawrence to Gordon for childcare each year?!), stuffed registration packets, recruited liturgists, designed the agenda, chased down presenters, assigned rooms, chauffeured special guests, tended to medical emergencies, provided childcare, drove golf carts, solved problems, posted messages, wired the chapel for A/V, wrote liturgies, danced, sang, preached, taught, herded, decorated, served…whether seen or unseen, this gaggle or troop or fleet or flock took great care of us. Perhaps the best way to describe them: SAINTS.
This was my first year in a new leadership role at annual conference and the learning curve was steep. I am grateful for these saints who together made sure that everything was taken care of…especially the things I had no idea were supposed to happen! Of course, things went wrong too. We will learn from those mistakes and do better next year. Your helpful observations are a valuable part of that and I hope you filled out an evaluation or will do that soon online (www.neumc.org/ac14eval).
Thanks be to God for the Spirit among us as we soared on the wings of love, powered by the presence and service of these saints.
Connected in Christ,