The tale of a Minnesotan, living in Maine, Traveling to Tampa for the UCC General Synod 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Healthy Eating at Synod

Today I am hanging out with a friend of mine who lives on a eco-farm near Tampa before we begin the work of Synod tomorrow.

Being on an eco-farm where much of the food we are eating comes from the fruits of my hosts' labor at every step of the way, and from the bounty of God's creation, brought to mind one of the resolutions we will be voting on: the Resolution for Mindful and Faithful Eating.

This is not "my" resolution, so I will not be discussing it in my committee, but it will be going to a committee and getting a chance to be voted on.

I was interested from the start in this resolution because I believe that people's lives can be better when they eat mindfully, but I am also "body-positive" - meaning that I, as a fat woman, see much of the negativity around body weight and size and shape as a tool of oppression. Further more, it means that I believe God loves each one of us mind, body and spirit, no matter how current ideology views us physically. So just the title made me nervous because I didn't know which direction this would be taken.

So it was with a mixture of confusion and relief that I realized the resolution has much more to do with how we treat God's creation - the earth and animals as well as ourselves.

Here's a link to the UCC website where you can read this resolution, or any resolution, as a pdf - General Synod 28th Resolution

Part of me thinks this resolution should really be called "Resolution for Mindful and Faithful Consumption." What do you think? I will say I like this resolution because it has a clear idea of what action should be taken, whereas many of the others seem, well, flighty is the best word I have right now.

Today I'm off to search for a hat, since I'm hoping Florida has a larger selection then Maine! Then I'll be checking in at my hotel, maybe have some coffee with my sister and our friend and hope this rain keeps us cool!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Spirit Moves

Well! I'm gonna be honest with you. The last few days? Not the best of my life. Not the worst by any means, but not fantastic either. In fact, I had a bit of a melt down Sunday night because the idea of starting a three day journey to a church conference was just to much to handle.

And Jesus was like, "Three days? Try 40, sister!"

So, the Spirit's been moving all in, around and through me in regards to this Synod - and I will get to that - but this may be the coolest yet.

Not 20 minutes ago I boarded the train in New York headed for Florida. I was desperate for 2 things when I got off my train from Boston: the bathroom and a slice of pizza. However, it took me so long to find the bathroom and get the piazza, that no sooner had I taken a bite, then I heard the announcement that my train was boarding! I had really meant to be one of the first in line so I could get a comfy window seat.

Well, of couse I didn't get a window seat, but on a train that's not as big of a deal because there are other cars to be on if you need space. So the gentleman I sit next to and I start chatting and he says he's going to Tampa to. I ask what's sending him to Tampa and he says - in exactly the way I would say it, which honestly is a bit apologetic* - "ah, I'm going to a church conference."

No. Way.

O.M. Creator, christ and Holy Ghost!!!

Do you know where the rest of the people on this car are going? Not General Synod!

My seat mate is coming from Chicago where he is a member of Trinity (which is great because I've always wanted to go there, and now that I've met someone who is a member, it seems more likely I will!)

So, yes, the Spirit moves, and she does it in mysterious ways. And at times when you just want to stand still, she calls you to dance.

*those who answer to "Christian" but not "conservative" may know the reaction I'm referring to. It's not embarresment exactly, but more of an apology for all the hurt that other Christians have/may have caused the person. Also, it comes from a fear that the person will believe you are about to try and convert them, even though you aren't.

My Baby Takes the Morning Train

Well, here I am, a day late and a dollar short as far as this blog is concerned. I meant to post something before this, filling in on what this blog is all about (the 28th General Synod of the United Church of Christ), and what I'll be doing there (being a delegate for Minnesota, blogging, visiting with old friends and making some new ones). But, here I am, waiting for a train in Boston to take me to Tampa, FL.

"Wait, what? Didn't she say she's from Minnesota? What is she doing in a train station in Bean Town?!"

Well, funny story, that. Basically, I signed on to be a delegate for Minnesota, where I was born and raised, about four years ago. I had no idea then (or even a year ago) that I would be living in Maine at the time of this year's Synod. But I'm still a member at my home church (is there a good term for this? "Baptismal church" maybe?), which is Lynnhurst Congregational UCC in Minneapolis. ( Since moving to Maine in January, I have been attending First Parish UCC in Brunswick.

And why the train? Well, I took the train for the first time at Christmas, and sort of fell in love. It wasn't perfect, but it felt calmer, greener and actually somewhat safer - I'm not afraid of terrorists so much as being stuck in an airport for 8 hours with no one to watch my bags!

So, that's it for now. I will try and post more today, especially as I begin delving in to my committee assignment and the other topics we'll be voting on this year. Also, I apologize if any of this post is chopped up or has grammatical mistakes. I'm usually a good proof reader, but I'm writing from my phone and don't have the benefit of a full screen!