Wanda Stride

Three weeks!

Three weeks!

Three weeks!

Three weeks!!!

Three weeks from tonight we will be gathering in Napanee for the start of what will probably be the last Bay of Quinte Conference Annual Meeting. This much we know. Yes it’s the theme of conference this year, but it’s also been my mantra for the past year.

I’ve been involved in CAM for many years, and it is awe-inspiring to see how many people it takes to pull off a meeting like this. I will be thanking people more formally at conference, but sometimes it helps to know people are grateful when you are in the middle of a job!

I don’t pretend to know every job that makes our conference meetings so successful, but this much I know:  thank you to all of you who are up late checking lists, up early checking outlets and paint colour, sending emails and doing site visits. Thank you, all of you who are taking minutes, planning agendas, shopping and making phone calls, you who are booking hotel rooms, practicing songs or writing liturgy, you who are building fake-scaffolding and setting up sound systems…

Thank you, all of you who are studying proposals and numbers, you who are planning recipes and maps, graphic design, parking allotments and business tables. Thank you to all of you who are planning to be ordained! Thank you to those of you who are planning your lives so you can attend and worship and be present and supportive, or critical and keeping the rest of us honest… thank you to those of you who are listening as others struggle and wonder and feel frustrated, unsure of how on earth a plan like this works out!

And thank you for reading.

It takes a church to plan a church gathering – all of God’s children coming together and stretching ourselves. I especially want to let the folks in Napanee, and especially the folks at Trinity who are hosting the bulk of activity April 27-29. You good and faithful servants! We are at a stage of seeing so much work ahead and so little time, but God is with you. We are behind you. I am grateful to you for working so hard to make your church an ideal venue for CAM 2018, for being patient when plans change, for doing all you can to support the dream of the planning committee.

In these first few days after Easter, it is more important than ever that we remember that Christ leads our way. CAM is not Galilee, but I believe it is on the way. We will encounter Christ at Trinity, at Grace, and we will encounter Christ at St Mary Magdalene Anglican Church, as we worship and break bread together, sing together, listen and learn together, and make faithful decisions about the future of God’s mission in our communities.

Thank you.

And see you in three weeks!

Wanda

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