Tomorrow and Wednesday I must show up pressed and pious at our big ol’ assembly. I’ve worked a number of conferences before, but always for publishers. Where books are involved, I’ll happily stand at a booth and smile non-stop, even though I am a pretty introverted person. Usually you get to go home with pre-publication galleys or other goodies. I find it hard to believe that working a denominational gathering is going to be quite so rewarding. Even at book conferences, the day usually breaks down into long stretches of mind numbing boredom interrupted by spurts of manic activity, and a lot of time on your feet. Exhausting, in other words. Since I’ll be a sort of public information dispenser, I can’t sit and read, or anything during the boring stretches. Except eat the M&Ms from the candy dishes.
But I could be wrong. Maybe it will all be very exciting, and I’ll remember to avoid bad language when I drop a 50 lb box of brochures on my toe, and I’ll navigate those odd minefields that seem to exist where I least expect them (we don’t have a “pot luck” meal but a “pot provident” one). I’ve discovered that there will be a Celtic hymn fest, which astounds me, but it will be late in the evening and I won’t be able to go.
I’m not sure if such things as sessions and overtures can be all that exciting unless you have something at stake. It seems we plan to declare someone or other heterodox and squash something called New Perspectives on Paul and something else called the Federalist Vision, whatever those are. After glancing through the results from googling those terms, I think I would get a headache trying to figure out why everyone is in a lather, so feel free to enlighten me.
So, bad attitude or not, I’m not looking forward to this chunk out of my work schedule, and I’m feeling a bit nervous about talking with lots of people, not to mention the hassle of actually getting into downtown Atlanta in summer humidity while staying unwrinkled and retaining my sangfroid. The M&Ms, though, I can live with.