- Tom Long: Dependably fabulous. Preached on John 4 (the Samaritan Woman at the Well); lectured on Mark.
- Anna Carter Florence: Best preacher at the conference, if delivery alone would determine that. And I truly appreciated her words on Luke 10 (Martha and Mary).
- Walter Brueggeman: Inspiring. Made me feel smarter just to be able to keep up with him.
- Barbara Lundblad: The best workshop at the conference, on Matthew's texts through this summer, and "Preaching Through Resistance." And she taught me in seminary!
- David Lose: Gave the most intellectually rigorous lecture of the conference, on preaching in the post-modern context. Now I actually understand what post-modernism is... but I can't possibly prove that you, because proofs and absolutes are so passé.
- Walter Wangerin: Spellbinding. And good on his feet!
- Carol Miles: After an initial misstep (claiming that women are challenged when it comes to having a sense of direction... helLO??), gave a really moving sermon.
- Worship: Transcendent, mostly.
- New friends: better than I could have imagined. Biblical hospitality lives!
Little Mary, back me up on this. Was the snark factor, at moments, just a little over the top? NOT amongst our RevGalPals (they were, to a woman, delightful... and so were the men in that group). But... at other times. It felt like there was some serious self-doubt/ insecurity floating around, judging by the things that were said about various speakers and preachers. The whole thing was so overwhelmingly rich and beautiful to me, and I was so grateful for all I learned and just soaked in... and wished for a little more grace to be offered in the hearing.
Generally, the conference attendees were a wonderful congregation... the most "live" group I could ever imagine preaching to, right there with each passing syllable, reacting, responding, laughing, groaning. But later... meow. And I am guilty of this in life, I admit. But... it was a little disappointing, and started to wear on me.
That's all I got. Re-entry is challenging my ability to spell and form coherent thoughts. I know I've left stuff and people out. But this is it.