It’s time for the annual English District Professional Church Workers Conference, held each May for the pastors, a few deaconesses and other assorted professionals in our district. After years of having the conference near the Detroit airport, we are moving out to the Sheraton Hotel in Ann Arbor.
The conferences always consists of devotions, keynote speakers, some workshops and an assortment of reports. For the first time that I can remember, we will receive CEUs for attending some of the sessions presented by Dr. Jeff Gibbs, a professor from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
I always have mixed feelings as this attendance-required (though some never attend) conference approaches. On the one hand, it is a nice break from the routine and a chance to see my colleagues from across the country who are part of the English District. On the other hand, these conferences are traditionally, in a word, dull. And that is saying it in the kindest way. The fact that attendance has to be enforced says something about the whole process.
I appreciate the hard work that the planners and presenters put into the conference. I think part of the problem is that we only get all the pastors of our district together once a year, so the organizers feel the need to squeeze in all the reports, greetings, and Q&A sessions possible. Most of this information could be communicated throughout the year, but I suppose it’s harder for a captive audience to ignore a live presentation.
I leave tomorrow morning and I will write about each day’s experiences here. It will help me stay on task and perhaps will cause me to reflect more on what is presented each day.