By The Rev. Ray Medeiros
Pastor of the United Church of Bernardston
Synod got underway yesterday with Educational Intensives on the various resolutions that will be coming up to be voted on during the plenary sessions. An Educational Intensive is a two hour presentation by an expert on the subject matter pertaining to a particular resolution to help delegates to be better informed before deliberating on the resolution. This is something new, but definitely a good idea.
Another Synod first was using electronic keypads to vote, rather than the old red voting cards. This technological leap has not exactly been flawless. In our first attempt to use them the keypads did not appear to be tabulating every delegate’s votes. Encountering voting irregularities in Florida inevitably created a strange sense of déjà vu for those of us who still remember a certain Presidential election.
All in all, though, Tampa has been a good host. All the local folks I’ve run into while exploring the city to find restaurants, or a place to buy an umbrella (isn’t this supposed to be the Sunshine State?) have been incredibly friendly and gracious. Not to mention that they bake irresistible cookies, which are available on tables near every escalator in the convention center. I noticed I was grabbing a cookie or two every time I boarded an escalator, which is not a good pattern. I briefly entertained the idea of giving up the cookies. I chose instead, to keep eating the cookies and give up escalators. Maybe taking the stairs will burn off the excess calories.
Reverend Ray Medeiros is recently retired after serving UCC churches in Bernardston and Westminster, Massachusetts.