Annual Conference took place last week. It was the first time in history that both the Pacific Northwest and Oregon-Idaho conferences met together. Given that we met at the Red Lion Jantzen Beach, which sits on an island surrounded by the Columbia River, the conference was about making connections and about life giving water.
As I head to Twinlow Camp and Retreat Center to offer Sunday worship and to be camp pastor next week, our two annual conference delegates, Jean Harris and David Lutz will be leading worship and sharing in the message this Sunday. Jean has been attending our annual conference for years. For David, this past week was his first time. As I asked them to think about planning worship and sharing their thoughts, I asked that they focus on the spiritual, worshipful, and emotionally moving aspects of their experiences this year. I know for David, one key worship experience was the installation worship service for our new bishop. He’ll be sharing the significance of pieces of that service. For Jean one of her spiritually significant moments was a service on the river led by our own Rev. Jenny Philips. For me, it was, once again, the ordination service and the moment when the twelve clergy who were being commissioned all knelt together. It was overwhelming to see them and then to be able to pray for them as they continue to move toward their own ordination as elders and deacons.
In as much as this year’s annual conference dealt with very little business, the worship services are what I’ll remember. They were deep, beautiful, challenging, encouraging, relational and rich. Come and hear of two perspectives from our own two delegates. To prepare please read Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Luke 10:25-28.