Longest day ever

So much to say, so exhausted while saying it. . . . .

This morning it was announced that we had elected George Wood as our General Superintendent yesterday afternoon at the close of business.

This morning during the business session, we elected Alton Garrison for the position of Assistant Superintendent (although Dr. Beth Grant was in the top three choices during the votes--landmark for our fellowship, I think). To replace George Wood in the Secretary office, we elected John Palmer. To replace Alton Garrison in the position of US Home Missions Executive Director, we made history by electing the first black pastor to an executive position, Rollie Smith, Jr from the New Jersey district.

In between all those votes, we also voted on resolutions. There was much debate over certain resolutions, particularly over the inclusion of women and pastors under 40 in the general presbytery. We spent most of the morning on that and related resolutions, before they were finally denied.

I had the privilege of sitting in front of a general presbyter from Louisiana. He was keeping up a lively conversation with me and my friend outspoken friend Brandy, and I wanted to give him a prayer card. I realized I'd left them back at the hotel several blocks away. Unfortunately, I didn't really have a spare moment to run and get them.

For lunch, I'd scheduled to be at the Credentialed Women's Luncheon. The food was great, but I was a little confused as to why we had a man speaker, when we have so many wonderful, um, how shall I say . . .Credentialed Women! I had to leave early, so that I could run back to the hotel for my prayer cards. Rushing back, I was able to be in the afternoon business session, where we continued electing our officials and argued about relational districts and divorced ministers.

I don't even know how that ended, because the missionaries had to be at the evening service very early. I ran to change into my dress for that, and got over to the Conseco Field House in time to be assigned a flag to wave at the right moment during the missions service. For the record, we were just given flags; they didn't relate to our actual country. I waved the Swedish flag, as a matter of fact.

As soon as that service was over, I rushed several blocks to the Valley Forge reception, chatting up a few pastors on the walk over. I was passing out my cards like candy. The reception gave me a chance to eat the first real food I'd had since noon (a handful of crackers in between don't count, in my book). I worked the room, greeting Dr. Meyer and lots of old friends (some of whom I didn't even recognize with their baldness, gray hair, or weight gains). It was pretty fun to be there, but I have to say now that I'm finally back in the hotel (nearly midnight), I am amazed I haven't collapsed yet.

I can sleep on the plane tomorrow!
Ariel Rainey