Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Opening Day

Greetings from Tampa -
* Opening Ceremonies today. Big worship with dancers and a mass choir and a band playing 8 kinds of music. The liturgy bounced from English to Portuguese to German to Korean to Spanish to American Sign Language. Even back here in the cheap seats, I was moved by the expressed desire to be the body of Christ, unified in witness around the world.
* Speaking of which, The Common Witness Coalition has been working through the weekend to welcome and build relationships with international delegates. Tonya Harris and Frank Wulf will blog more about this later – I just showed up in time for a rockin’ dinner with live music and powerful progressive speaker in the Coalition’s “tabernacle” – a big white tent set up across from the Convention Center. It will be there all GC, serving lunch and providing a meeting place for international delegates.
The Coalition consists of these groups: Affirmation Methodists for LGBTQ Concerns, Black Methodists for Church Renewal, MFSA, National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, Native American International Caucus, Reconciling Ministries Network . Find out more at: http://gc12.org/about/coalition/
* The Cal-Pac delegation was saddened to find that our table position on the floor is in the very back row, along with others in the Western Jurisdiction. The initial map had shown us that Row 1 would be, well, the first row. You will need to keep sending our delegation your good prayer energy, as it is more difficult to be seen and recognized by the presiding Bishop from the back row. On the up side, our delegation is seated around delegates from the Congo and Russia.
* If you’re reading this, you’re probably also following events on www.umc.org. If so, you’ll note that Cal-Pac Delegation Leader Tom Choi is pictured on the front page with Bishop Grant Hagiya.  Very exciting.
* Tonight we are hearing from Erin Hawkins, General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion & Race, on diversity issues. She’s from our Conference – consistently thoughtful and insightful.  Then some work on rules and schedule. 
* Lay Delegate Mele Maka has been elected Chair of Courtesies. It's lovely to have her leadership and graciousness so widely recognized. 
Legislative Committee meetings begin tomorrow. Your humble bloggers will seek to respond to the interests of our readers.
Rev. Paige Eaves
Jurisdictional Reserve Delegate


  1. Thank you Paige and everyone. I appreciated the virtual presence at worship today and look forward to more; as well as keeping up with your postings here. My prayers are with you all. Debbie Gara

  2. I just want to thank you all for serving Cal-Pac and for keeping us informed! This blog is a great resource for those of us who want to know what's going on, and from a Cal-Pac perspective. Thanks and keep up the good work! —Carol Van Buskirk

  3. Thanks for keeping us informed! I watched a good portion of the opening worship and I was moved by the water/river imagery and the use of baptism as a "universal" connectional element. I had never thought of the sacrament as being an institutional connectional element before, and it resonated with me. I loved the broad river - there was room for the movement and open space for our own imaginations. And, I always love processions so seeing all the Bishops in all their wondrous colors was so amazing.

    Thanks for sharing about the tabernacle. So cool! Love that - how exciting! Yay!

    Ms. Hawkins is also speaking (and leading our Learning Plenary) at our Annual Conference in June, it will be a joy to welcome and learn from her.

    Be strong -- all those from the "West!" We may be "in the back," but the Holy Spirit will send forth your/our voices just when needed and appropriate.

    Thank you for your ministry, presence, and heart for God's church in Tampa and around the world.

    Our prayers continue,

    Melinda Dodge.