Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And then I went away for about a month

I had all the best intentions of blogging while I was away.  I mean, surely I would have interesting things to say while I was at General Synod for a week and then roaming around Europe for the next three weeks.  And sure enough, I did have interesting things to say.  What I didn't have was time or consistent internet access or the desire to spend my vacation blogging instead of actually vacationing.  So, time for a bit of catch-up.

General Synod.  This was about my tenth GS, and although I enjoy it, I might be getting a little blase about the whole thing.  By the time you've been there a few years, you come to understand that the schedule is crazy grueling, and that in order to survive, you have to determine for yourself how to make time so as to not go insane or fall onto the floor in a heap.  This year I was wearing multiple hats as a regular delegate, commission moderator, and member of a special advisory committee on church geekery (I mean, church order and governance), so I did a lot of multitasking to get everything done.  I also skipped things that I knew would irritate me or waste my time.

In case you are a future GS delegate thinking, "Wonderful, I can just skip the things that bore me!" stop right there.  Things that involve voting are never optional.  Reports that are part of the actual meeting are not optional.  Morning worship services in which God is referred to exclusively in antiquated, male language by a preacher who wants you to believe that he stands around acting like a tree on a regular basis - those are optional.  The "ecumenical" meal where people of our own denomination talk at great length about how great ecumenical relationships are while the only member of another denomination present nods politely - also optional.  I think I am going to write a guide to GS sometime, in all my spare time.

In the midst of all of this, I was also nominated for VP of the denomination.  The way this works is that you become VP for a year and then pretty much automatically become president.  I should not have been surprised to be nominated; I sort of thought I might be before I got there.  But when it happened, it was a little odd.  I was the only woman and a good twenty or thirty years younger than all the other nominees.  Anyhoo, I was not elected, which isn't such a bad thing.  I have a lot of years to get there if that's somewhere I'm headed.  More upsetting to me was that one of the other candidates didn't get it, as I thought he would be fabulous.  But the GS seems to try to balance itself, and this year we have a president who is female and eastern (i.e., suspected of liberalism, although she is not really a liberal at all), so clearly we needed to have a midwestern white man who could not possibly be less threatening to the status quo.  Nice guy, and I'm sure he'll be fine, but...sigh.

And this is where my multitasking and my tendency to opt out of certain events bites me in the derriere.  The people at the table behind me were apparently quite shocked that I was nominated, as I clearly "have no focus" and am "always late."  These descriptions were a mystery to me, until I realized that they had no way of knowing that my fairly constant flipping from one screen to another on my computer and dashing back and forth from the staff table to my own seat are usually legitimate GS-related stuff, or that I'm late because I have six other meetings to attend, or that I have the detailed daily schedule and have read the workbook so throughly that I'm quite aware of when I need to be paying 100% attention and when I can take a moment to deal with something else.

And now I am out of blogging time and must go to a meeting.  More on my month away later.  

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