My group consists of me, Curt, and Phred. Our group isn't exclusive, just small; besides being friends for over thirty years now, what binds us together is that we're not groupish people. In our time together, we don't follow an exacting or ambitious agenda. Not that we're just shooting the breeze, either. We talk about stuff. And we talk about it honestly.
We're not clones of each other, either theologically or politically. We talk about contentious issues, but we avoid debating them (at least, we try to keep the heat turned down low). We trust each other and respect each other. We love the Church, but we don't believe the hype that comes from headquarters. We love people, but we know what they're capable of -- we're capable of it, too. We've been around. And best of all, when we talk, we can cover the whole range of subjects from the bawdy to the arcane, without worrying about being indelicate on the one hand or talking over somebody else's head on the other.
It is a wonderful thing to spend two hours just being yourself with others, knowing that whatever odd enthusiasm has gripped you, it will be received with the same interest and courtesy that yourself is received. And even if the others don't share this particular enthusiasm of yours, they are capable of talking about it, of batting the ball back, of contributing something to the discussion.
We can't get together as often as we'd like. Phred lives way (waaay) up north, while Curt and I are down here in the southern hills. Which is why we tend to get together in Indy when we can. But then, Conference guidelines don't say how often or how regularly we have to meet, only that we have to. So, we make the most of our time when we can get together.
I really didn't have the time to go up to Indy and do this today. But I really couldn't do without it, either. Because I went, I'm way behind on all the stuff that I'm trying to get done -- but I came out ahead, overall.