Saturday, December 29, 2007

Top Five for 2007

A couple of weeks ago Gavin Richardson of the Methoblog called for the Methodist bloggers to send in what they consider to be their top five posts for the year. I didn’t do it, in part because I just started blogging this August, and, I just didn’t feel motivated to herald what I thought was tops. But I did think about it.

Reflecting on my blog leads me to say a word of thanks to whoever reads these posts. Thanks for dropping by. And I especially appreciate those who have taken time to leave comments. You’ve encouraged me. At times I’ve been ready to stop, realizing I’m just putting my egotistic ravings out for display. And then a comment lets me know someone is out there, or Joseph leaves another humorous statement, or new responses show up as in a dialogue, and I think I’m not alone in my crazy musings. So, thank you sincerely.

And now back to my top five. What I thought about was not postings, but my top five experiences this past year, which I connected with places. By stopping to think, and write, about them, I realize how immediate pressures can make you forget a lot of blessings.

1. Israel. Cynthia and I got to travel this time with our girls, and some dear friends. Always good to tour Israel, but this time filled with lots of good fun, like hiking over ruins, being offered 200 camels for one of my daughters (!), swimming in the Dead Sea and dancing in Jericho.
2. Scotland. Backpacking across the beautiful country, meeting Scotts at hostels and on the road, and living and worshipping at Iona – mind expanding extended leave.
3. Annual Conference. (Weird, huh?) But both our girls were there as delegates, both addressed the Conference, and seeing Kelsey get elected as a teenager to General Conference was super. Plus, receiving the confidence of peers to send me back as a delegate was both affirming and humbling.
4. Isle of Palms. Seeing our eldest, Lauren, settle into the groove of her new job there as Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries at First Methodist - makes a proud Dad happy.
5. Sumter. Lot happened this year – finishing renovations to open a major section of the Trinity Lincoln Center (an old high school) to house the Boys and Girls Clubs, implementing Natural Church Development goals and creating the Wayfinders ministry, getting the Men’s Bible Class to remove a certain controversial flag, changing the chapel appearance and beginning Mosaic worship, the church’s first construction team mission trip, and a passel of people/ministry moments.

Any such list is incomplete, leaving out the bad and the ugly, and a lot of other good. But this is the one I’ll stick with now, reminding me of many blessings, and how fortunate I am to serve as an Elder in our great church. Glad I stopped to consider a top five.


roadtripray said...

As strange as it seems, SC Annual Conference would be in my top 5 events of 2007 as well. It was my first annual conference, and it was quite an experience. I was lay delegate for the Good Samaritan/St. Paul Charge (Rock Hill District), and I'll be returning in 2008.

The politicking was my least favorite part, but I really liked the sense of connection, both in our discussions and in our worship. The Day of Service was wonderful, too. I'm glad that was added, as I understand that was a new addition.

My wife really enjoyed it, too. I'm a declared candidate for ordained ministry, and obviously it's a decision that affects the entire family. My wife was really comforted after conference in realizing that there is an extended "family" in the conference. She even knew some clergy from over in the Myrtle Beach area she hadn't seen in years, so it was a great experience.

We both were very impressed with Kelsey and all the youth that were present at conference. What a blessing it is to see young people on fire with the desire to serve! You must indeed be a proud papa!


Stephen Taylor said...

Thanks Ray, for your nice comments about Kelsey. And as I'm glad to hear you're on the journey of ministry, I'm also delighted to hear that your wife is part of the discernment. The call affects our loved ones as much as it does us. There is family. You have to work at it, but the connection is a wonderful part of being clergy.

Jim said...

I don't think the fact that you occasionally get a comment rules out the possibility of "egotistic ravings." Just teasing, I meant that as encouragement.
Israel made my list too.