I'm getting ready to leave today for Nashville, TN, for the UM Men's National Gathering (big whoop). On Saturday, we hold the NAUMS Annual Meeting at Belmont University, and also do our big face-to-face meeting of the NAUMS Board of Directors. I'll get home about 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, get up and preach + teach the next morning, and at noon be ready to go to Scout camp for a week.
Meanwhile, the fallout from our recent Annual Conference continues to load me down. What we did to retirees (and hope-to-be-retirees) is shameful. It certainly screws up all my carefully laid plans. It impacts Deanne's plans, too. And what about the bozos who led us into this mess? Stone 'em, I say. I know some of the Sanctified what'd be willing to throw the first rock.
Ah, me. When I saw all those red t-shirts they were handing out at Conference that read, "Rethink Church," all I could think of was how I wished I could find a t-shirt place and get one that read, Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss.
My dorm room here at Belmont University is pretty bare. I'm glad I remembered to bring a towel. No sheets, though. Still, I'm resourceful: there was a felt sleeping bag liner in my trunk, and I have a small duffel that can double as a pillow (I'm such a camper). But, kudos to Belmont for its wi-fi. It came in clear as can be here in Thrailkill Hall.
I spent a little time hanging around the Grand Atrium waiting for someone to bring me some stuff I needed (kudos to Marc, the ever-dependable!). It's interesting, though, who greets you and who doesn't. There are the Shakers, who greet everybody, and probably then forget them. There are those who are genuinely glad to see you, and display interest (a distinct minority). There are those who give you a perfunctory greeting -- the bare minimum to satisfy courtesy. Then, there are those who simply ignore you. It's sort of like wandering into most UM churches on a Sunday morning (i.e., not very friendly).
Well, I've got to go explore for some supper and buy a couple of things. Then it's back to the dorm room to fold NAUMS handouts for the display table.
One more weird thing: I haven't seen a single bulletin board on this campus. What's up with that?
Later . . .
Just got back from supper. Turns out there are linens after all; I just got here before they were completely organized for check-in.
I was going to go to the Pancake Pantry for supper, but they close at 3:00 p.m. on weekdays. So I wound up going up the street to an Indian place. I ordered Mulligatawny, a lentil soup described in the menu as "delicately spiced." Which made me think of all the times I've ordered in Indian or Thai restaurants and went only 3/4 up the heat scale. Each time, I've wished I'd asked for more spiciness. So, this time, I ordered Lamb Vindloo, and asked for the full treatment.
The "delicately spiced" Mulligatawny was as hot as I normally eat anything. The Vindloo can only be described as Promethean (Dear God!). It was delicious, but the sauce was so fiery that I could have been eating muskrat instead of lamb, and couldn't have told the difference.
Well, ya gotta try new things, and ya gotta treat yourself sometimes, ya know?
It is said that the young Martin Luther once visited Rome and was disturbed by what he saw in the headquarters of his Church. Every time I attend a meeting in Nashville, I know just how he felt.