Methodist Holy Land

For the next couple of days I am at Lake Junaluska, NC attending the 2009 meeting of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church.
That’s a mouthful.
It’s the yearly gathering of every United Methodist pastor and one lay member per pastor in the western half of our state (Greensboro to the Tennessee state line).
The setting in Lake Junaluska is quite serene. It’s been a Methodist property forever and was the site of my ordination service back in 1989.
So about 2,500 of us will worship, reconnect with old friends, gossip (one sin about which no one ever says, “love the sin; hate the sinner”), politick, and rest. Some of my colleagues hate Annual Conference; I actually love it.
This year we will debate and then vote on several Constitutional Amendments to the UMC. You can read and see more about the amendments and get an inkling of how I’ll vote here.
When I come back to Charlotte on Saturday, I will no doubt bring with me some new ideas for sermon series, a heightened appreciation for and frustration with our denomination, and gratitude for the opportunity to serve a church like Good Shepherd.