Saturday, June 15, 2013

Conference Wrapup

Annual Conference has been going well this week. 
Yesterday we celebrated anniversary clergy, anniversary churches, 
the memorial service and the retirement service. 
The church where we grew up, Seffner UMC, was celebrating 125 years of ministry. 
They had a banner in the procession, carried in by their lay delegate Eric Nelson Sr. 

It was a very proud moment for Daryl and I both. 
We were teenagers when Seffner celebrated it's 100th anniversary in 1988 
and both our families participated in all kinds of events that year to mark the centennial.  
We were very honored to have been asked back to preach for one of this year's Heritage Sundays. 
Seffner has fought hard in the last few years to overcome difficult circumstances
and we are so glad to see that they have made it to celebrate this anniversary.

This Annual Conference has been a blessing on another level as well. 
We have been SO LOVED on by our clergy colleagues this week,
who are all so excited for us about our adoption of Davis. 
We can't walk down the hallway without being hugged or congratulated
and two sweet sisters in Christ held hands with us in the hallway today and prayed for our trip. 
Others have stopped to share their own stories with us - of adopted children (from China and other places), of their children/relatives who were born with cleft lip and/or palate and who are absolutely thriving. Families from our Clergy Kids weekend have shared their excitement in welcoming another member of the Allen family at our gathering in January. 

What a tremendous joy it has been to be surrounded by people who are 
so overwhelmingly supportive and excited for us, 
especially as we are so close to traveling. 
It seems surreal to think that this time next week, we will be in China!

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