So, I’ve got an extremely busy week ahead of me. Following a nice weekend down-south with the family, I’ll be heading to Roanoke (with poor Melissa in-tow) tonight for the kick-off of the 2008 Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The conference runs through mid-day Wednesday, so I’m unlikely to have hardly any time to myself between now and then.

UMC Annual Conferences are the key regional decision-making bodies of the United Methodist Church. They have responsibility for operations, church policy, and pastor assignments within the conference (the Virginia Conference encompasses most of the state of Virginia, except the south-west corner), and every four years they vote for and send delegates to the General Conference that makes denomination-wide policy. Conferences are composed, essentially, of all clergy within the conference and a roughly-equal number of ‘laity’ (non-clergy church members, like me). My church has two pastors, and I’ve been selected to be one of our two lay-delegates to the conference.

Conference business usually starts around 8:15am, and finishes around 9:15pm, so I have a few long days ahead. That means, while I’ll try to keep making postings, I may well fall behind.