Today was the first day of our denomination’s Midwinter conference! This is the first time I have ever been to Midwinter. My colleague Kyle got a “First Time” ribbon on his nametag but somehow I escaped. 🙂
Both Kyle and I are attending the Theology class that is required for our licensing. Kyle got his flight delayed by fog for 3.5 hours and they were stuck on the runway for like an hour, so he missed most of the morning. It was super crowded in the room. I couldn’t get everyone in the picture, but this is half the room. They actually ran out of space and had to steal the water table!
That was all morning. For lunch we took a break to walk to the mall to get lunch and I met some people and then we sat through all afternoon. I must say I am a bit out of practice in sitting in class for so long! I had to suppress a constant desire to wriggle. I did so by adding photos and layout elements to my notes that I was typing as the teachers were talking.
Then a quick break and off to dinner. This year they started the conference with a banquet. It was so nice!
I tried to get a picture of the stage but people were milling around. Turns out I got Gary Walter, our president in there! The theme is how God Prepares, Protects, and Provides. Oops, the “Provides” got cut off.
Here’s how it looked from my point of view where I was sitting.
There were a lot of people. I tried to stitch together some photos but I didn’t do a good job, so here’s just a rough. It gives an idea of all the people who were there.
The food was good. The gravy looked a bit strange, kind of a pink color, but then after tasting I realized it had red wine in it. I loved the potatoes! The person next to me noticed me snapping pictures of everything and said, “You are quite the documenter.” I said, “I write a blog.” Whenever I say that, people are like, oh, ok, and don’t think twice when I go around taking more random pictures. Good cover. I could be a spy and just say that I write a blog.
I had heard rumors, but during the dinner they told us that the rental truck that had been driving all their equipment had overturned and this is how it ended up.
One of the drivers of the truck was Sara Nelson, who used to attend UCC! It was a total miracle. Sara and her friend were totally unharmed. God protected them. It was a miracle. Even the nine police officers who went to the scene agreed! (The truck accident happened in the Bible belt!) I cannot believe they were not injured. The truck was a disaster.
I really enjoyed the program. There was a person (Glen?) who ministered through music by playing amazing harmonica and guitar and then he played a guitar made out of a cigar box. The slide on his finger looked suspiciously to me like a T-joint for PVC pipe. But I could be wrong.
The comedian, Michael Jr, has been on the Jay Leno show. The guy before him was hilarious too. I really enjoyed his comedy because he is a pastor’s kid and his humor was mostly about church ministry. (I wish I remembered his name.) It’s really a gift that they have, to be able to help people laugh, especially when circumstances are difficult.
I enjoyed talking with people and meeting new people. I even met someone that I have heard about for like 10 years from mutual friends! It was cool sharing stories of what God is doing. I felt greatly encouraged hearing of the many ways God is at work.
After that, there was a dessert reception where we divided into our regions and I ran into someone from UCC and met some others. It was a long but good day.