Playing Nice 2016

By Jaime Nava

Voting on mustaches and hearing weirdos compare the benefit of a resolution to a bag of bacon might seem like a waste of time to some people. It’s not. I didn’t expect to laugh so hard from the convention floor this week. Coming to tears with laughter reveals something about our church body. Although we’re doing serious work, we’re not taking ourselves too seriously. I think it’s a reflection of knowing we’re sinners who are forgiven, and that’s pretty cool.

There have been some contentious resolutions. People have their secret meetings in the back of restaurants to strategize. Using the standing rules, there are those who delay, amend, and play the game. You can go back and watch Monday afternoon about Resolution 12-01 and see for yourself. Nothing says haste like delay. It’s expected, and it doesn’t bother me. The truth is, people are trying to do what they believe is faithful. I haven’t heard from any “side” that Jesus didn’t suffer and die for our sins. Despite our differences, this convention has been strongly united and patient. Even the contentious stuff has had a strong majority. The vote on deacons passed by two-thirds, for example. It’s been a good convention, but it does take a lot of energy.

I’ve been going bed late and getting up early(ish). I’ve taken impromptu naps in my seat. I admit it. I’ve been away from my daughter for the longest I ever have. I miss my family. I’ve also been meeting up with old buddies, meeting new ones, enjoying scotch and cigars, and running to and fro when not sitting in a chair for hours. More than my body, my brain is tired. It is so worth it, especially the camaraderie.

I want to add how impressed I am with our laity. Some take vacation time to go through all this. My seat neighbor has a great sense of humor and has been devoted to the schedule and work of the convention as a retired salesman. The people of this church body are easy for pastors to brag about.

As I write, there’s more work to do. There’s a little more schmoozing to do too. Maybe a fight will break out before now and when you read this, but, the way things are going, I doubt it. God has been merciful to us this week. If conventions keep going like this, maybe I’ll be back. I move that this report be adopted with flair.