This afternoon, we began our NACP training for UM Men leaders and prayer advocates. It looks to be a pretty good meeting. The afternoon session began with the installation of our new General Secretary, Gil Hanke.
I confess that I horned in on this a bit. In fact, I was downright assertive in claiming a spot on the program, much to the amazement of those who were putting it together, I think. I wanted to offer the musical version I composed some years ago of Isaiah 52, "How beautiful upon the mountains." I thought it would be very appropriate, and would fit into a semi-liturgical context. More important, it was something I could do as the President of NAUMS in the installation of our General Secretary.
Not to constantly bring up old gripes, but the Scouting Ministry side of GCUMM tends to be represented more by a cluster of programs and less by the number of people present. And among those identified with Scouting Ministry, we NAUMS members are often represented by just me (as current President). So, whatever it took, I wanted to make sure that a NAUMS representative did something that assisted in that installation, and I figured offering to sing would be less difficult to get onto the agenda than trying to negotiate a speaking role or something.
Anyway, it went okay.
NACP President John Dowell also graciously gave me a few minutes at the start of the first all hands sit-down session to give a commercial for NAUMS chapters. This is leading to some important schmoozing during break times. By such baby steps is the kingdom built.
After two years of coming down to these UMM shindigs, I've got some good relationships built. I rather like being with these guys, and I think they appreciate what I bring to the table. But oh, my stars and little hoptoads, the distance we have yet to go before all the members of the tribe are equally valued in putting together the future of this Commission and its work.
All this should not be construed as my hanging onto my Cynic License. I have more hopes today than I did before for the future of this agency and its ministries. But it's going to take so much hard work to bring us all together and value every one of us as we all should be valued. And if I get something like that done in the remainder of my term, I can retire with honors, I think.
It was a long day today. Most of the program was good (though some of the workshop stuff was the usual, and could have been much better done). But there were some good guys around, and it was good to be among them.
Nevertheless, I'm very tired right now. And it's very wearing to speak and think in a foreign language all the time (United Methodist Mennish). I'll be wrapping things up tomorrow and heading home, having gathered all the rosebuds I can carry at this time.