The past month is still a blur to me. After returning from the Women in Ministry Retreat I was overwhelmed with Council preparation. I was invited to speak at a ladies luncheon last Saturday. I left Sunday afternoon for Winchester, Virginia for District Council.
District Council definitely exceeded our expectations! We began with a prayer meeting Sunday evening and the presence of God was overwhelming. Following the prayer meeting the staff enjoyed dinner together at the Outback. We finally arrived back to the hotel at 10:30. The Courtyard Marriott overbooked and we had a huge mess with our direct bill of 35 rooms. It certainly was not a pleasant experience and not a good way to begin our Council.
I met with the General Manager of the hotel Monday morning and tried to work out the mess with our rooms. The bottom line - the sales manager quit a few months ago and the person overseeing the direct billing had no clue what she was doing. Therefore, two other groups were booked and there were not enough rooms to accommodate everyone. We had to actually move 6 of our staff members to other hotels which were equivalent to the Courtyard Marriott but just a hassle. There will definitely be a letter to corporate headquarters next week complaining about the incompetence of this hotel.
Monday was a very busy day. The ordination luncheon began at 11:30 a.m. for 100 people which included ordination candidates, officers and department directors. Ordination practice followed the luncheon and then a brief Board of Presbyters meeting. I got back to my room at 3:30 p.m. and needed to be at the church by 4:45 p.m. Registration began at 5:00 p.m. Monday evening was the Ordination Service followed by a reception for the ordination candidates, family and guests. Superintendent Larry Hickey delivered an incredible message entitled "The Pursuit" for empowering future generations. Our attendance was around 1000 and it was a powerful evening.
Tuesday's business session began at 9:00 a.m. There was an incredible visitation of God mid morning during the business session. Superintendent Hickey actually stopped the session and encouraged everyone to kneel and pray. Awesome!
There were several luncheons in the afternoon which one of them I hosted, Women in Ministry Luncheon. We enjoyed our lunch in a huge white tent. All the tables were decorated with beautiful spring centerpieces and a lovely lunch. We gave away lots of gifts and were blessed by our speaker, Linda Webb, Women's Ministries Director. It was a great afternoon. Our new Women in Ministry is beginning to truly develop and we are so excited. Our goal is to connect and encourage relationships with pastor's wives of all ages in our District. It is happening and we are so excited!
Tuesday evening's service was a missions service and the guest speaker was Ron Maddux. He did a great job. Following the service was an International Dessert Fellowship. I actually bowed out of the fellowship and went to dinner with another colleague. Because of the busy schedule the day before and the late night at the church I wasn't able to have dinner and didn't want to repeat that same venue two nights in a row.
Our business session Wednesday morning was packed to the brim since we were not able to conmplete the business on Tuesday morning. Our session didn't conclude until 1:00 p.m but it was a great time. After completing the business there were presentations from the 7Project Team and Chi-Alpha. David Barton from Wallbuilders spoke to conclude the session. He is one of the most incredible historians I have ever heard.
The staff at the church in Winchester, VA was outstanding! This church was our superintendent's former church. They certainly went far and beyond the call of duty to accommodate our Council.
Yesterday was my grandson's 4th birthday. We spent the day with him and it was a great time.
I am speaking in church Sunday for Mother's Day and am placing the final touches on my message.
It has been a great week. God is so good.
Blessings to you today!