16 October 2009


What a day! -- and, it's only 4PM. I walked on this Friday morning from the hotel through a grey mist, the sun completely hidden. Again, as was true the two precious times I have approached and entered the Carolina First Center (it having had a different name on both those occasions), I was impressed and curious. Impressed at the setting, the outside view -- plantings, elevations, expanses of glass, and the inside space -- generous hallways and lobbies, countless meeting rooms and long escalators. It speaks to me of optimism, of wealth. I can only imagine (this is the curious part) the spectrum of activities that present themselves to the public under the building's vast roof during a year's time.

Diocesan business was just that, report after report, agenda item after agenda item checked off the sheet of paper in my lap. The morning session ran enough ahead of schedule that the bishop moved several items from the afternoon, and we cleared them up before noonday prayers and lunch. I forced myself, as we were gavelled back to order after lunch and the bishop began his annual -- and last, and emotional -- address, wondering if there might be time for a walk between the end of the session and dinner. The Greenville municipal airport is immediately adjacent, after all. It's OK to dream.

But, the day wasn't -- and never is -- all business. As Bishop Henderson likes to say, diocesan convention is really a family reunion. At every turn familiar faces and beloved people appeared, a phenomenon that went on all day. These encounters -- loud, animated, joy-filled, each one cut short by another -- have reminded me clearly of the danger inherent in my personality, that danger being the tendency to go alone, the way I have of cutting myself off -- oftentimes not deliberately, but sometimes on purpose -- from people. Now, I can only stand so much, introverted as I am, but some balance is in order. I have missed some of these people very much and feel a sense of renewal at the reconnection.

And, and ... following the bishop's address, the Search Committee revealed to the convention its slate of five candidates who will stand for election to be the 8th bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, complete with two minute videos in which each individual introduced himself to the diocese. It was a great moment; our work as a committee is finished.

Now, to finish up that golf tournament. Next Friday's the day.

After that? A reunion of my own -- with Tal, with Whitby and Belle, with home. Can hardly wait!

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