Sabbatical Blog

...chronicling some of my projects and learnings during this time apart from parish ministry

Thursday, June 22, 2006

GA06 Home Again

When I'm spending $350 a day on a conference, I feel the need to go "full tilt," and I arrived at GA on Monday in the late afternoon, set up my Chapel, met friends, stayed out too late, left my hotel at 6:40 Tuesday and Wednesday and didn't get back to my room until after 10PM. But I can't do that day after day any more, so this morning, I took a break, packed slowly, read the newspaper, checked out, stashed my luggage with the bell hop of the fancy hotel I hadn't stayed at and asked the concierge to print check my plane reservation and print my boarding pass, and ambled over to the convention center. (These last moves make me feel extremely worldly and sophisticated.) I slipped into a workshop on Spiritual Direction and then went out to lunch with the UU Spiritual Directors who hung around. This emergent interest group got to know each other a bit better and got some business done. This is the sort of thing that would be so hard to do without GA that we have this expensive conference every year and most of those years, grumbling all the way, I go, at least for a while.

I returned to the Exhibit hall to load up on books, talked to one of the Skinner House editors about a book proposal that I put in a few weeks ago with my Lay Leader In Charge of Covenant Groups. (I don't think I ever mentioned that project on this blog, but the Covenant Book Project and the Covenant Groups for the Spiritual Progressives were a major part of this sabbatical.) I ran across my church president...a minor miracle....and we talked for a few minutes about the Satellite Project which will be on the next Board agenda.

I told her that the second most common question I had gotten from my colleagues these past few days, after "how are you?" was, "Tell me about your satellites?" Ken Brown has published his article and is talking up his research, which included an interview with myself and the two laymen who have spearheaded the iMinistry team in Albuquerque. He seems to have left people with the impression that we are farther along on this project than we are. They all want us to forge ahead because they are interested in following. And after all those questions, I'm eager to get back to work and get started.

The trip home was uneventful, in spite of the fact that the gate folks at the airport seemed to be in a near panic about getting us out before thunderstorms grounded us. We got shoved on to the plane and roared out of the gate, only to stop on the runway. Sigh. But it turned out to be good news. We were re-routed to avoid the storms and took off to the first drops of rain. Our spooked pilot only had the seatbelt sign off for about 30 minutes of the two and a half hour trip, which caused great squirming by my four year old row-mate, but it was actually a pretty smooth ride, and after all that, we were only 20 minutes late.

Home, now. 10 more days of sabbatical.





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