Saturday, August 11, 2012

GC41 (Day 1) Making Connections...

My day began with breakfast and breaking camp.  As a result of my last minute arrival the day before I had to switch rooms.  This meant packing everything up, putting it in storage, and then returning 5 hours later and moving into the new room.  All went seamlessly and I got some errands done and enjoyed a visit with family - thus began the theme of connections!
Switching Rooms

The first day at any large meeting is all about making connections and this is even more true for a gathering such as General Council.  Connections with the strangers who welcomed us in red shirts.  Connections with folk from across the Church that had not been seen in years.  Connections in a long line of folk waiting in line to enter a residence hall.  Connections with  a mob of people huddled in a tunnel waiting out a thunder shower.  Connections with friends of friends and sometimes friends of friends of friends... and connections with folk who will soon be friends... as this event brings people into a shared experience where safe community is created allowing for the presence of the Spirit.

Waiting for the elevator...
Beginning at 3:30PM with gathering music and through to 5:30PM with introductions and words of welcome to the traditional land of the Algonquin people and to the city of Ottawa, the opening set the stage for the week to come allowing folk time to connect with others in their table groups sharing stories of how they came to be in this place at this time.

Following a run through a thunder shower with a brief interlude huddled in a tunnel and supper eaten with a crowd of similarly soaked people we returned to the "Raven's Nest" where we shared in worship.

The time in worship was truly inspired as it sought to bring people into the space of a circle reminding connecting us to one another and to the two foundational Scriptures of the United Church of Canada: "that all may be one" and "what does the Lord require of you..."  I was especially moved by the worship teams rendition of Creation Calls as written by Brian Doerksen.

The liturgical dance sought to visually illustrate the movement of the Spirit as depicted in the logo for the 41st General Council - and succeed in connecting and including a wide variety of folk.

Liturgical dance...
The service ended with a moving celebration of communion with bread from all the 13 Conferences of the United Church and grape juice from the three shores - all signifying the great abundance that is ours from God.

My day ended at 10PM when I crawled into bed and promptly fell asleep...

On the Sabbath Road...

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying following your journey this week!

    Jeff Doucette