1) Courtesy. Madam Moderator. Mister Vice-Moderator. “Thank you, commissioner...” Formal scripts not read drily but with enthusiasm for our orderliness!
2) Working until an inhuman hour and then getting roped into drinks til the even-later-hours. Meeting members of my Presbytery without an agenda before us, or a standard by which they wait to approve or disapprove of me.
3) The Witherspoon Society Dance. I do believe that John Calvin himself was in attendance. I wonder if he’d ever danced to Lady Gaga before?
4) Networkings of inspiration: randomly meeting people who come from AWESOME congregations and who give me hope for a fun future in pastoral ministry.
5) Worship songs before each plenary. Singing loud. Also, there was that time when all the bow-tie-d men on stage, Stated Clerk included, got up and shook whatever Jesus gave them to shake. In bowties.
7) Young Adult Advisory Delegates. Those who dared to break the conventions of appearance and formality, and to appear in tie-dye, bandana and barefoot like Jesus himself. Those who spoke trembling through shyness on something that Mattered to them. And of course those who led us in crazy energizer dances!!
8) Westminster Presbyterian Church’s hospitality. 2 blocks from the church, they had free (& high-caliber!) concerts every day, and lunches at reasonable cost, and free chair massages which my crutch-weary shoulders did surely appreciate.
9) National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen (NAPC) and their luncheon. I appreciated (1) being allowed to use my per-diem to pay for the luncheon, but more so (2) being in a room of ordained, affirmed & affirming women in pastoral leadership. I think it’s time to re-start that feminist reading group that has been hibernating at SFTS... PC(USA) may have been ordaining women since 1956, but even if it's old news, some of us will still take jobs in towns where an ordained woman has never preached, and besides which, we think differently than men do, and we need to ask each other if our heresies might actually make good sense.
10) OUR FANTASTIC MODERATORIAL TEAM!!! Follow them on facebook. They rock.