I've now been to Clergy Conferences in three dioceses: Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts. While the venues change, there are some similarities. Here are a few reflections, some of which might resonate if you've ever participated in one. Feel free to add others to this list.
- I don’t mind people Tweeting, e-mailing, updating Facebook, etc. during the various sessions. It’s the people who knit – could you please keep it down?!
- I’m always reassured to see that the church really does run on coffee. I never trust a priest who exclusively drinks mango juice.
- Please do not sign up for the talent show if you are neither musically gifted nor amusing.
- I look around at these gatherings and think to myself, “Wow, some of these people are my colleagues!” And in the same breath, “Wow, some of these people are my colleagues.”
- Priests sure know how to drink.
- The best part of worship is that clergy can really belt out the hymns. Unfortunately the selection of the hymns often leaves something to be desired.
- I’m glad I’m not a bishop because I’d have to know all of these people’s names. I'm much better at benignly smiling nodding.
- Ballroom liturgy always creeps me out a bit.
- I’m always amazed at the number of clergy who skip out on Morning and Evening Prayer.
- Clergy are excellent bitchers about things diocesan.
- I take great pleasure in watching priests sucking up to the bishops.
That's it for now. It's almost time for lunch and I have to meet with the affinity group I started titled "Priests who like to complain about bad liturgy."