Sunday, May 13, 2007

I Left With Hope

I went to my Association's Spring Meeting yesterday. I generally like going to these because it allows me to catch up with all my colleagues. I had to say a small prayer of thanks later, because with very few exceptions, if I had ended up in any other Association, there would have been a very good chance that I wouldn't have known anyone. Over time I would have, but some of these relationships were built in. I guess they would have been elsewhere as well, and I would have been able to get to know others. So this paragraph doesn't apply as much as I thought it would. But I'm leaving it in anyway.

So our keynote speaker was touted beforehand as an expert on church vitality. I hadn't heard too much about him, but I was willing to give him a chance. Here's a handful of words and phrases that he used:

  • Post-Christendom
  • Organic community
  • Local context
  • Missional
  • Post-modernism

I sat there beaming through the whole thing. Here I was at a UCC gathering where I'd previously ranted and complained on this blog about the absence of such terms in our denomination's conversation, and here they all were. I went to a workshop in the afternoon that talked all about assessing the local congregation's story and strengths in order to minister to a local context. All this from a national staffperson!

Admittedly, I'd done all this ranting and complaining without really checking out UCCVitality. Apparently it's all there. It's been there all along.

So I left with hope. I also left eating a modest plate of crow, because I decided to leave a little early and thus couldn't finish it there. Thankfully they had take-out containers, so I could finish later.

There's more to say, but it's Sunday morning, it's Mother's Day, and my brother graduates college this afternoon. So it'll all have to wait.