I'm baaaccck! And it is good to be home. Interestingly enough, there is much to write on from annual conference, but I don't seem to have it in me, must be tired.
This morning I went to a worship service in the manner of the "emerging" church experience. I found it all to be very interesting. I liked a great deal of what was happening and the experiential aspects of it. I asked my 16 and 20 year old children what they thought. My 16 year old liked it, except she didn't like the part where we took Communion in table groups. "We are to all be the body of Christ," she said it felt like we were just bits and pieces. My 20 year old thought "there were too many activities." I felt that they were a good judge of what they liked. I was too busy trying to keep my mind open.
When it all comes down to it, I find that there are bits and pieces of how I conduct worship that would be considered very "emerging," however, I still am a fan of "how we've always done it." Not in the "we-can't-do-things-differently-because-the-good-Lord-would-strike-us-dead" way, but rather the respecting tradition way. I too think we need to make worship relevant to the people in the context they find themselves. I just think we need to keep tradition balanced with enough fresh ideas to keep it really interesting.
With that being said....I am adding an early morning worship service on Sundays in June. I am planning on working this idea of "emerging worship" into this new service. I figure if we are going to do something at a different time, we might as well play around with new ideas! I'll update you on how it works out.
Last night at Annual Conference was the ordination service. I have always found this service very moving, probably because every time think, "this is what I am working for." Next year will be my turn...good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise and the Board of Ordained Ministry don't decide otherwise!
We did have a bit of controversy on the floor today. It seems that the committee on parsonage standards wanted to include a bit about parsonages should be smoke and tobacco free. Now, that make sense to me; however, it seems that it wasn't as clear cut as I'd assumed it might be. We had numerous people who stood up to speak about it. Most of the started this way..."now I'm not a smoker myself..." I kind of appreciated the lay gentleman who stood up and said, "I'm a smoker, but I would never smoke in someone's home that wasn't a smoker." At least he was honest. In any event, it was quite a lengthy debate with plenty of speeches for it and against it, a motion to amend it and then a motion to amend the amendment. It came down to a motion that basically made it all right to smoke outside the parsonage, but not inside. It was so close they had to take a vote. Go figure. In any event, the amendment passed.
So, other than the above, there wasn't too much excitement going on, or I can't think of it one or the other. I'll write more when my brain is fresher.