Day 8: The Start
Tonight I ask for prayers for all those suffering any kind of discrimination. People are judged by other people just because of this label, or that label, and there is no reason for it. This judgment has the negative affect of pushing people away and keeping them out of what their hearts call them to do. So tonight, please keep in your prayers all those that have suffered discrimination.
Today [Monday] marks the start to week 2 of GC. There is lots of buzz because it is a lot harder to sway a larger group; so those people lobbying others are working in overtime.
I write to you tonight after what I found to be a fairly long, fairly boring day. There was some big news to start the week off; the general body’s first job today was to elect the needed members for the judicial council and the university senate. Now of course in every election process there is problems. I feel that today we had more problems than any other time I have seen this process happen put together. That may be a little exaggerated, but it was pretty bad. During the test ballots there were some misunderstandings in how to use the keypad. Do we all know what the definition of insanity is? Insanity: the act of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I would have to say by that definition the people sitting on stage this morning were insane. Finally after quite a few times of giving the instructions basically the same way we had a 2nd grade teacher come up and suggest that they give more direct instructions. “let’s make sure we can all do the simple part. Why don’t you tell everyone to push one then send then two then send” she said. And the entire body clapped and thought it was a good idea. But of course the person on the stage didn’t actually do what was suggested and there was just as much confusion. Finally the people in charge said “that is close enough. Let us proceed with the voting”. This worked out okay but leaving me to wonder what was taking so long. Why did it require a 2nd grade teacher with a very simple plan to get us moving forward again.
[Editors note: Electronic voting is particularly challenging for international delegates as they learn new technology, and deal with issues of simultaneous translation, often in their second language.]
The rest of the day seemed long too, as I was flustered about the petition the young people are amending. I received some uninformed information from someone on the committee of calendar and agenda. This information made us all scramble to have something ready to go. If we would have been up today we would have done okay, but the extra time gave us the ability to meet and really perfect it. The young people met today and for the most part we worked on that. In doing so we got it slimmed down and as close to perfection as we can get it. The other thing we did in that meeting today is continued work on getting the “Where is Doug?” campaign. I am really ready for it to become a big witness for the young people who cannot do all they wish to in the church because of their school and work schedules.
One more thing I will say about myself and today, once a nerd always a nerd. I say that today because sitting in the youth lounge I noticed that the direct coax feed that we had running into the room so we could watch plenary live in a more comfortable space was coming through extremely poorly. So I asked Greg if he had an HDMI cable I could borrow to stream off my laptop instead. He found one for me to use and so for the rest of the day (from approx. the afternoon break on) we used my laptop to have the plenary in the young people’s lounge with us. The other thing that I did that makes me a little of a nerd is scare the heck out of the volunteer that was in the room by printing something from across the room. I had managed to connect my laptop to the network printer in about 2 minutes when no one else in the room could seem to get it to work for them. I felt right at home, I am guessing I am getting some blank stares when I talk about the tech stuff but it is what I do at home and it was nice to be able to bring some of my non-church expertise to this grand event.
All in all it was a good day, kind of boring, a little frustrating but a good day. I had some mixed thoughts on some of the stuff that happened today so I am glad there has been decisions made that didn’t need my input today. It has been a good long start to the beginning of the 2nd week here.