Immediately following worship, at 9AM as I was seeking to auction off the use of one of the few comfortable chairs in the space (proceeds to the Mission and Service Fund), we entered our first Decision Session. And… the first motion, a rework of proposal ANW 02 as crafted by the Facilitation Team, was moved by the General Secretary…
That the 43rd General Council: Amend The Manual to allow a meeting by e-mail in exceptional circumstances, with clear parameters and policies to be developed by the General Secretary.
I moved toward the microphone for the first time but before I could speak one of my fellow commissioners made the point I would have made: that it is out of order for an individual to make a motion that asks them to do something… And I was left struck by how for me, this error symbolized the centralization of power and authority in what for 25+ years I have experienced as a conciliar Church.
With this though swirling in my heart I ate lunch, I participated in another discussion session and in the listening session on Remit Implementation and yes, I asked some hard questions about budget and process and background decisions… and after the second discussion session of the day I was about spent and almost didn’t go to the Sunset Ceremony for Presbyteries and Conference. Unfortunately, due to copyright you cannot watch the full service but I was touched. The preacher, Rev. Laura Springate led us (me) to a place of pondering those times when I felt loved, that I belonged somewhere … and I was taken back to my first experience at Maritime Conference Youth Forum… “From Now On…” and other times in leadership in the same event, my ordination in the midst of that community in which I’d been affirmed… and the sense of loss was overwhelming.
The service concluded with folk from each of the Conferences making their way to a place where the Executive Secretary and President of that Conference greeted them and exchanged blessings and gratitude for what has been… and we walked away, still uncertain of what would be, trusting that God would be with us.