My conference ended this morning and I successfully fulfilled all of my “obligations” as the representative from the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Communications Board to the annual national meetings here in San Antonio, TX. I could have gone home today but when I booked my flights I couldn’t find one with connections through anywhere that left this afternoon. My roommate already left so I have this lovely Crown Plaza space all to myself. I can see the Riverwalk from my 7th-floor room but I’ve been-there-done-that hand-in-hand with my dear man already and it doesn’t have the same appeal without him. So I’ve used the extra time to work on the church directory, better use of my time, which is of the essence, as they say, because next week is a very short one and I’d started to think 2007 would come and go before I got the 2007 directory in the hands of the congregation.
Near 7:30 p.m. I went down again, this time to get in on the first meeting of the conference Howard is attending. I stood in the back, not quite ready to commit to the two-hour session. At 8:15 I was still standing, having participated in the worship singing of three songs that lasted 35 minutes. They were all new songs to me, and I think to everyone else, and the leader wanted us to learn them in English and in Swahili. Then Dick Sartwell, former Newberg Friends pastor and personal friend, introduced the speaker—Leonard Sweet!—whose introductory comments immediately captured my interest. I stood for an additional 15 minutes while he headed toward the meat of his message. How many chances do I get to hear Leonard Sweet in person? I don’t really know why, since I could have easily found a seat toward the back, but I decided to go to the hotel restaurant, buy a take-out salad, head back up here to the room, and visit with you. Now don’t you feel important?