Today I had to break away from monitoring the interesting comments prompted by my guest blog to attend our annual diocesan convention.
I had agreed some weeks ago to be a floor nominee for one of the elections in which we had to vote for 8 lay people: 4 deputies (delegates), 4 alternates. There were 12 candidates in all, I think. Maybe 10. I don't remember precisely, only that lots and lots of nominations came from the floor and there were so many wonderfully gifted people willing to serve.
In the balloting I came in third. Meaning I was elected as a deputy. This was completely and utterly unexpected. Yes, I know, I always say that. But this was truer today than in the State House election a year ago.
As a result of today's action, I'll be attending a much bigger convention of our entire denomination during the summer of 2009.
For me, diocesan convention is a big family reunion, my chance to see people from all over the state whom I know from other committees and activities. It involved the usual wrap-around Eucharist, with the business portion of convention--voting the budget and levels of clergy compensation and various resolutions--in the middle. That was all done by holding up our coloured cards--green for yes, red for no.
For the various offices being voted, we had a regular ballot and the dreaded hare ballot. Ballot counting for the hare ballot took so very long that the Eucharist finished before results were announced. Convention couldn't be adjourned till we had the vote results. So we postponed the dismissal and recessional and had an impromptu "hymn sing", with the extraordinarily gifted organist taking requests. Despite weariness (I was up at 5:20 a.m., arrived at the church at 7 a.m., it was nearly 4 p.m.) I could've kept on singing forever. It was beautiful! I'm sure the ballot counters were absolutely exhausted, it took hours.
So here I sit, in shock and awe. Feeling oh, so humbled by the responsibility.