On Wednesday, I wrapped up a month of frequent travel. It is exciting to travel a lot from here to there, and something about being in an airport makes you feel important. “I’m going somewhere” is written on your face. I especially feel important when I travel in a suit. Then flight attendants and fellow travelers treat me like not only am I going somewhere, but when I get there, I’m going to be whisked off to somewhere important after getting off the plane.
That likely sounds fairly self-obsessed, so let me admit something-I like to feel important and vital and like a “big-shot,” but nothing makes me feel more important than when the church provides for me to attend conferences and fellowships that enrich me and my work in the church by seeing to the important and vital things here so that I’m “free to move about the cabin” of the world. Volunteers have seen to needed tasks, a whole Stewardship campaign has been developed, led, and carried out thanks to the tremendous leadership of Bill and Carol and David and Carole and Karen and Chris and Amy and Jacque and Gene. Thanks to that tremendous leadership, we are looking forward to 100 confirmed guests at our consecration Sunday lunch following church this Sunday. Our Charge Conference reports were prepared, and a slideshow profiling our year of ministry with musical accompaniment moved participants to tears at our first Cluster Charge Conference with Memorial Drive, Christ, Will Rogers, Southern Hills, and New Haven UMCs. With the help of phenomenal staff and volunteers, we have ministered to grieving families with funerals and pastoral care. We have hosted around 300 people at our Halloween carnival. We have supported our Wesley Foundation by having a team of golfers, we have done a whole lot because people have stepped up to take care of details, plan, and lead. It makes me not only feel “important,” but that we are doing important things for an important reason here at University UMC.
I look forward to unpacking many of the insights I have gained at the Pastoral Leadership Institute at Wabash College I attended in early October in Indiana, reflections gained during a refreshing few days of Sabbath with my daughter kayaking in Hot Springs over Fall Break, new ideas for ministry harvested from colleagues at the 4th annual University Church Network hosted by Belmont United Methodist Church, Belmont and Vanderbilt Universities in Nashville, and the gathering and support of a new cohort of young clergy colleagues doing engaging ministry around the country at the Hendrix Institute for Clergy Civic Engagement I attended this past Mon-Wed. It has been a busy month, and the rolling stone has gathered no moss here at UUMC.