Thursday, February 4, 2010
After check-in this afternoon, most of the new delegates headed (surprisingly) to the New Delegate Training Session. It was a rather nondescript, though useful little workshop, mostly focused on Robert's Rules of Order. The high point of the day came afterward at the opening Eucharist for the convention at wonderful and historic Christ Church New Bern.
When most of the St. Andrew's on-the-Sound delegation arrived roughly a half hour early to secure a seat the church was already thoroughly censed and the smoke hung rather heavily in the nave. This good omen carried through to the service. Though the hymns were a touch unconventional and left the crowd somewhat disoriented as to what we were singing, a rather good sermon from Bishop Daniel pulled the service through strong. As we were acknowledging the presentation of Christ in the Temple and his recognition by Simeon, the theme was based around the light of Christ. Bishop Daniel told a story of a little boy who watched the lamplighter making his rounds and told his grandmother he was watching the man "punch holes in the dark." After listing several of the many afflictions facing the world today, the Bishop spoke of how we have grown rather adept at punching holes in our neighbors instead. The suggestion was that we would serve better punching holes in hunger, oppression, fear, homelessness, want, etc. than beating up our neighbors over things of little consequence. It was a simple message eloquently put (by the Bishop, though obviously not here.)
Following the service, our delegation had dinner at a fantastic restaurant in downtown New Bern called "The Chelsea" and a few of us followed it up with a nightcap in the hotel bar afterward with some company. All in all a pretty good end to a pretty good day.
In other news, I may wind up with an opponent in my election for the Board of Trustees of the University of the South. A woman approached me purely by chance and asked if anyone was nominated for the University of the South trustee position. I mentioned that I was and she then mentioned that her husband was also interested in that and may put his name in. As of yet, I'm not terribly worried as I'm the only person in the convention literature, but it appears this may not be a totally uncontested race. I will check with the convention office tomorrow to see if anyone else has been nominated and keep everyone posted.
So ends the first day of convention, and I'll leave you with a bit of Night Prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book
Lord it is night.
The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done.
Let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.
In your name we pray.