Submitted by Edith Guffey
I can’t honestly say that I am sorry that Annual Meeting is over, but that is the lament of anyone that plans meetings; even with a great team and for an organization you love, it’s always good to have the meeting itself behind you! But that doesn’t mean that the “why” of gathering is lost and while I took off for yet another meeting right after Tulsa, I still have a few loose ends to tie up “in public”.
During dinner on Friday night I recognized a number of people who had worked and helped with Annual Meeting and I want to name them here again, Nicole Schlaefli and Michael Vollbrecht were both onsite; Nicole worked with the hotel on meals and the audio visual company on technology and Michael was the onsite person interfacing directly with the audiovisual company making sure our technology needs were all attended to as well as interfacing with registration for name tags etc. We used Eventbrite for registration this year, an off the shelf system that saved us some dollars. Thanks to Phil Hodson for setting this system up and to Phil and Wendy Lee at Pilgrim UCC for responding to questions and managing it. And of course to and to Jan Lange for help with Boundary Training.
And these are just the people that make the pieces of annual meeting work; then there’s the program and the Conference Council and others that were part of making that possible. The workshop leaders (Jim French; David Wheeler, Lisa Wolfe and Joy Miller Davis) all graciously agreed to participate, Nikki Woolsey and Sherry Curry took charge of worship with Sheridan preaching a powerful sermon and Ariana and Whitney from Federated Church providing the music.
I included a written thank you to all of the Conference Council members in the advance materials with special words of thanks and appreciation to Jennifer Parson and Jody Mannes who went off the Council at the end of Annual Meeting. I wish I had acknowledged them both at Annual Meeting as well as they have been committed leaders and brought different gifts that we will miss. A special thanks to Jennifer for pushing us on the pronouns and hashtags at annual meetings!!
We installed new leadership for 2020 and I am looking forward with renewed energy and excitement these new leaders will bring to the challenges and opportunities before us. Diana Butler Bass gave me a new framework and really a deeper and appreciation of what it means to be and live a with a sense of real gratitude. And I hope I can slow down and do that morning prayer thing she encourages; and start my days off with the feeling as I felt when I left Tulsa. Even when I was tired…I was and still am