Thursday, May 29, 2008

Licensing School - Information Overload

Talk about having stuff flying at you all different directions, this was the day. Our first two classes were on Clergy Tax Laws and Regulations & Pension and Benefits for Pastors. That was two hours for each session and we couldn't get close to covering it all. Once again I have a pile of things to read when I get home. That might actually happen some time in September.

Then we had a meeting with the Director of Connectional Ministries as he introduced us to directors of Conference Communications; Ministerial Services; Office of Lay Life & Work, Disabilities and Older Adult Ministries; Office of Mission and Global Outreach; Hispanic / Latino Ministries; Higher Education and Social Concerns; Youth, Young Adults, and Single Adult Ministries; Children's Ministries and Discipleship; and Stewardship. Each one told about their ministry within the Conference and the things the did that you would never imagine would be under their office.

Then we had Resource Fair that had information from not only the groups above, but from groups like Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone; Board of Laity; United Methodist Men; United Methodist Women; United Methodist Family Services; Heart Haven; The Society of Saint Andrew; and the Virginia Conference Historical Society. I know I left some out and I beg their forgiveness but the brain is simply melting. Fortunately for me they all had hand outs or websites for me to refer back to when the brain starts to re-gel.

I guess the school could see the grey matter dripping from our ears because the rest of the day was set aside for a trip to the Eastern Shore. I was stationed at Langley AFB for several years, but this was my first trip across the Bay Bridge Tunnel. We went to Frankland UMC in Frankland, VA. They had several outreach ministries that they do and we had speakers tell us about them. One was a preschool/after school program and the other was a ministry to Hispanic migrant workers. We had dinner in the fellowship hall prepared by their youth. The proceeds are for their mission trip, no destination set yet. Our evening speaker was a pastor who was originally from Liberia in Africa. He had been a refugee because of war in his country and after serving in a number of African countries he ended up on the Eastern Shore where serves as a UMC pastor. By the time we got back I was starting to recover from information poured into that restricted space between my ears.

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