Goodness! It's already Saturday and I'm not done with Thursday yet!
I had to miss some of the Laity Address on Thursday simply to catch up with some paperwork that I needed to complete, but I was excited Thursday afternoon to go into the legislative session dealing with Judicial Administration.
If that sounds boring to you, then I must be one sick puppy because I'm really enjoying it!
For those who don't know, the General Conference receives lots of petitions. Some of them ask to change the Discipline (our book of rules, order and doctrine read in company with the Bible), some of them ask to have a resolution in the Book of Resolutions (our statements on specific world situations). People from all over the world send in petitions--over 1500 to this General Conference. One of our agencies takes the petitions and divides them up into thirteen different groups. (I'll list the thirteen in a later blog.)
In any case, I'm observing the group that deals with all the petitions related to our "court system". When a clergy is charged with a church offense or when there are problems that need to be taken to our church court for interpretation, there are specific rules that govern those actions. Those are the petitions we're dealing with.
I sat on the outside of the bar in the visitor's section, which basically means I have no voice and no vote. It's an interesting feeling to know that I have plenty to say about some of the petitions, but not be able to. I understand the reasons for that--with almost 1000 delegates officially elected to the body, it would be extraordinarily difficult to allow everyone the opportunity to speak, especially over the course of 10 days!
But it was great to see the person from our delegation who is officially on that committee (Beverly Silas, lay person from Austin) be elected to the vice-chair of the committee! I just feel so proud when I see legislation that was written by someone from our conference and know that there are people out there who really do care and want to give some guidance to the General Conference as to their thoughts and wishes on our church's future direction. And it's really cool when I see people from our Annual Conference honored by the body as they recognize leadership qualities.
The next blog will talk a little bit more about what happens next in the committee because that's when it gets really interesting!