Our Presbytery always holds its fall meeting the last full weekend of September. And since this year's calendar is exactly the same as it was in 2001, it was exactly six years ago to the day that I was preparing to attned my first meeting of this Presbytery, and also my first meeting of Presbytery as an ordained clergy-type-person.
There is of course always a sense of anxiety about "firsts". Will I fit in? Will I pick up on the "common knowledge"? Will I find a way to make a contribution? Will I annoy the power brokers? (this is the church after all) But as the meeting went by my anxieties were allayed, and to be honest the total anxiety level wasn't all that high.
As Presbytery meetings go this one was hardly unusual--for most people. But it will certainly be one I will remember. On Thursday evening, as I was waiting to be led to my billet, the door flew open and a "young" (remembering of course that anyone under 45 is young in church circles) woman-a lay rep from one of the big churches in the City-on-the-Lake (half the Presbytery churches are in that city)- came running in yelling "don't leave, don't leave! I'm here!". After she registered I stood and chatted with her for a while. Then we chatted off and on all weekend. Well I was chatting, apparently I was too obtuse to see what was really going on.
Saturday evening we spent the entire evening together and something started to click (hey I may be obtuse but not that bad). THen we sat together for worship and lunch on Sunday, said our "see you in February"'s and headed home.
A couple days later, as I was pondering sending an e-mail, one arrived for me. The rest, as they say, is history. 6 years after the day we met we have been married for 5 years and have 3 beautiful princesses. It was a Presbytery to remember for sure.
Oh and she had decided on THursday night what the end result of this would be--or at least so I am told.