Monday, June 15, 2015

Annual Conference Fun at Daytona Beach

From Monday to Saturday of this past week we were in Daytona Beach for the Florida United Methodist Annual Conference Event. We stayed with friends at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Daytona Beach Shores and this was the lovely view from our balcony onto the beach and the river.

We took every opportunity to soak up the water view, especially with our restaurant choice at night.

Carolyn (aka the Davis Whisperer) came with us again this year. Since there was Annual Conference Childcare at a local church this time, she was free in the daytime to attend all the sessions and vote as a young adult delegate representing the North Central District.  At night she kept the boys in the hotel room (and at the pool/hot tub) while we went to the worship services.

Carolyn also kept Davis in the room on Thursday morning when we got up at 5am to go run the Imagine No Malaria 5k on Daytona Beach. Wesley was the youngest participant at age 7 (the oldest was 70). He and Baba ran hand in hand and finished in 34 minutes. Parker finished slightly ahead of them and I finished at 44 minutes. Wesley finished first in his age category of age 9 and under and was mentioned by age in the news article featured in the conference website.

And then of course there was the whole reason that we were in Daytona - conference meetings. We met in the Performing Arts Center at Bethune Cookman University - one of two Methodist sponsored colleges in Florida (the other is Florida Southern in Lakeland). We had the usual important conference business to attend to as well as the business of electing 50 clergy and lay delegates to represent us at next year's General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Our main guest speaker this time was the Rev. Adam Hamilton from Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. It's the largest UM church in the United States. Daryl and I will be traveling with a group of Florida Conference pastors to visit the church's Leadership Institute again in September.

Our delegation.

Daryl and I also had the privilege and honor of serving as marshalls at the service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination on Friday evening. It was such a joy to be there and to celebrate with so many clergy that we know from seminary, from appearances before us at the North Central District Committee on Ordained Ministry and also from the Residents in Ministry program that I work with.

It was a long and exhausting week, but also a full and wonderful opportunity to visit with colleagues and friends from churches we have served across the conference. Looking forward to next year already, when we our Annual Conference is going to be held at one of the big hotels in Downtown Disney.

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