May 28, 2008

NEws from Conference

Some notes and thoughts from last weekend's Conference Annual Meeting:
More in-depth news can be found here
  • One highlight was the theme presentations. The theme speaker was John Ikerd and he was wonderful. He spoke about sustainability and agriculture and ethics and economics. One concept that stood out was that "it makes no economic sense to do anything for others which doesn't benefit us". It is a powerful conscience that can stand up and say "the system is broken".
  • Another definite highlight was the celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry. As part of that celebration we recounted the history of getting to this point in our time. We also took time to lament the church's history of heterosexism/homophobia. Then we had a celebration with rainbow flags and liturgy and made a covenant to be a safe place, an affirming place, a welcoming place. During both the lament and the celebration there were tears in some eyes.
  • One of the highlights of conference every year is the music. Music sung by hundreds of voices at once, music that enlivens the soul and quickens the heart.
  • $14.03 per resident member (using 2006 statistics). That is all it takes to fund the Conference Budget. Admittedly a more useful number would be $ per identifiable giver, but still that is remarkably low. YEs that money comes, in the end, from local congregations (through assesments to Presbytery which in turn assesses congregations for the cost of running Presbyteries) and therefore comes out of funds available for local work. But still $14.03 per resident member!
  • Oh and it may be worth mentioning that at the Presbytery meeting on Saturday Gord was installed as chair of Cambrian Presbytery for 2008-09

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