This is my third Annual Conference for the West Michigan United Methodist Church.
It is held each year at Calvin College.
I have learned a few things and will continue to learn more each year.
First, I know which dining hall offers ice cream. And it's not just that soft serve stuff. It's the real deal. Hudsonville ice cream from our own "backyard". I had mine today before I ate my salad thank-you-very-much.
Second, the other lay members from our church are awesome. As I talk to them and get to know them more, I find out more about them, and they're just neat!
Third, I scare people. Today, there is a group who has rainbow stoles. Everyone is encouraged to take one (and either return it at the end of conference or keep it and make a small donation) and wear it proudly. It is to show our support of gays and lesbians in the church. Our contingent agreed that those were a good idea and we each picked a stole. Then, at lunch, a woman asked me about them. I gave her the card that came with it and she read it very carefully.
I have to remember this: I'm more of a "city" girl than "country" at this Conference. And, as Bill pointed out in this post, I am clearly identifiable as such.
City livin' means more liberal. At least it seems that way.
So when this woman from a church of one hundred members asked me about my rainbow stole, I very kindly explained my position. I did not force her to agree with me. I did not try to twist her arm. I simple said, I am trying to do what Jesus taught which is to love one another. It is not my place to judge. I love all of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
She sort of mumbled something about how this is a touchy subject and then excused herself.
That's okay. Lunch was over anyway.
We'll see what happens tomorrow...