I'm in the county of oranges and housewives for a conference this week. Drove down yesterday with some students and friends. Pretty uneventful drive for me. Exciting for the driver of the other car in our caravan. The Highway Patrolman didn't like the rate of speed at which the other car was going. Luckily the Highway Patrolman was lenient and gave only a warning. It caused much excitement in the caravan though.
The conference this week in on peace. Specifically how we can be peacemakers in the midst of a world not very much into peace. Part of the focus is on poverty. We're only one day into the conference and already I feel like I should never buy anything ever again!! Okay, calming down, I'm realizing that I live in a insular world. I think about stuff that impacts me personally. I don't always think of the global repercussions. One of the speakers today was from India. She shared that we keep hearing about how many people don't have enough food in India and yet we never hear that some of the reasons that people don't have enough food is because their fields are being used to grow items that will be exported out of the country. While that may bring in money for the farmer, the food costs rise faster than the wages and there isn't enough to go around. Before, the farmer was able to feed his family off the land but not anymore. It's interesting to see how things that have been done to "help" actually do more harm sometimes.
Last night the new moderator of GA was here and spoke. Our group actually met up with him as we were all waiting to get our name badges and meal tickets. I've officially introduced myself to the moderator people! He led a town hall meeting that night and a few of us were immediately struck by how conscious he was to, well, moderate. Not share his own ideology but to listen, to encourage others to speak out and to apologize when necessary. I was refreshed listening to him earlier in the day and I left the town hall meeting with the sense that this leadership could be a great shift for the church. A shift towards a level playing field for all, a shift towards a greater awareness of others, a shift towards tough, tough discussions BUT a shift towards discussions rather than heated debates. That to me is probably the thing that gives me the most hope. I'm very, very tired of debates. It's past time for conversation to happen. Interesting to be thinking that at a peacemaking conference huh? :)