I was reminded of something tonight that originally caught my ear last Thursday on our opening day of addresses. But that was such a full day of soundbites that I didn't remember it until this morning when they played it again.
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson was talking about cups. The primary purpose of a cup when it's empy is to be filled. The primary purpose of a cup when it's filled is to be emptied. We are the cups, she told us.
She was speaking about the generosity in which we need to live our lives. For the time being of the General Conference, that generosity has been shown primarily through our Nothing But Nets challenge that was brought to us by the Kansas East delegation. They bid $420 for a basketball that one of the bishops brought out in explaining the Nothing But Nets program. They challenged the delegations from the other Final Four team areas to do better. After receiving so many bids, each one topping the other, the bishops last night went out and bought basketballs, saying that any delegation that wanted to bid at least $1000 would get to take home a basketball signed by the bishops.
Winning bid for the original Bishop's Ball came from West Ohio (hi Becky!). It was $80,000.
Along the way, Bill Gates' father, William Gates, Sr., told the General Conference that he would match the winning bid. With everything counted, the final total was over $420,000 for the Nothing But Nets Campaign.
We have a lot in our cups. I'm not sure what it means about us that it took that kind of competition to get it out of them, but I'm sure glad we were emptied in that way.