We've just cast the second ballot for Bishop. Now that the 'nominating' ballots have been received and a list of candidates has been presented, I did find a name which I feel comfortable supporting. Hard to say if this person will survive to the next ballot, but at least I found a name for which I could vote in good conscience.
Our ELCA Churchwide Office representative presented just before lunch. It seems that every year that particular presentation runs about ten minutes too long - this year was no exception. I'm happy to report that our net mission support throughout the ELCA has risen for the first time in many years - but I didn't need to know how every dime gets spent! :-)
The hight point of our Assembly thus far for me was the meeting of our Runestone Conference pastors just after lunch. Our conference's pastors have been hit hard by illness this year; one has just been diagnosed with a Stage 4 brain tumor, and another is dealing with her husband's lung cancer treatment. It's a lot to carry individually, but we promised those friends and colleagues whatever help and support we could offer: not only our prayers, but also our professional skills as worship leaders, visitation counselors, et cetera. I treasure my relationship with these colleagues; we get along very well and I've always known that I could count on my friends for laughter, support and strength. I hope my friends who are working in the midst of struggle feel the same way about me and our other colleagues.
Ainsley, of course, has been so excited about all the faces and lights that she hasn't slept yet - but Kristin finally got her to sleep in the stroller and is now circling the assembly hall to keep Ainsley asleep as long as possible. Pray for us.
And that's the word from Concordia College in Moorhead.