One of the great things about going to conferences is that you get to see old friends. Conferences may be professional gatherings, but also they are family reunions.
I have seen so many family members in Acapulco–ranging from “immediate family” to “distant cousins.” All are family. They include: former Richmond folks (Brenda & Lee, Laura & Fern, Arthur Runyan, Dwayne Johnson); master’s and doctoral degree friends, and MCC training colleagues and staff (current and former); Virginia colleagues and friends; and MCC New York friends, too. And former and current elders.
All this brings great joy, even though I end up staying up too late and getting up too early just to have time with them. Of course, no matter how hard I try, I will not get enough time with everyone. But each reunion is a joy.
And of course, I meet new family members, too–Joseph from Kenya comes to mind.
I have a picture that captures all that joy.
Rev. Pat Bumgartner, Pastor of MCC New York, and her partner, Mary Jane, have a small black poodle, Lillie, whom they bring to every MCC event. I took a picture of Rev. Pat, Lillie, and dear MCC New York friend, Noah Seaton, as we left a meeting together. Noah, whose given name was Nancy, and whom I knew as “Buddy” in New York, is now Noah. This picture captures for me the love shared by Pat and Lillie, and the glorious self-actualization Noah and God have achieved.
Oh, such a family! Such joy! And in a couple of days, I will be with my “home folks,” back in the bosom of MCC Richmond (and Jonathan and Cocoa!). God IS good. All the time.