Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I've Got Friends in Southern Places

This past week, we headed to Nashville for our denomination's (Presbyterian Church in America, otherwise known as PCA) annual meeting, General Assembly (GA). I have been involved in the PCA since we got married in 2003, but this was the first time I have been able to attend GA. There was no way I was missing out on this one because first of all, I was able to go (not working full-time), and second, it was in Nashville, a city I love very much. And an added bonus was that it was in driving distance from our house. Not a short drive, but driveable, nonetheless.

we packed the caliber to the brim!

I'm not sure what I was most excited about as we were planning this trip and as the time approached. I really love our denomination (for many reasons) and I was eager to see it "operate" on the national level rather than just locally/regionally. I am always impressed with the orderly fashion in which most business is operated, paired with the love & passion these men (our pastors & elders) have for serving God. There were great seminars, luncheons, and women's events I wanted to attend. I was even eager to sit in on the business/parliament meetings! Plus, as I mentioned, I wanted to experience Nashville again... live music, great food, honky tonks, the opry, shopping...

But certainly I was most excited about seeing friends from seminary!

I really wish I would have done a day-by-day post while we were there rather than cramming it all into one (or two) because now I have to rely on memory. and while I know it was just a few days ago, it was quite an overwhelming (good) experience and I'm afraid I won't remember everything. thank goodness for twitter & the ease of making daily updates there!

We got to GA a day or so earlier than most folks because Bobby was on a committee, so since I knew most of my friends weren't at the assembly hall, I stayed in the hotel that first morning (monday.) I had hoped to use the indoor/outdoor pool for a couple hours, but it was closed because some stupid guest broke some of the bricks on the edge of the pool, so they had to close it to repair and inspect before opening. (it was never reopened during our 8 day stay. ugh!) so instead, I worked out for awhile in the fitness room, unpacked & settled in, and did some reading & studying until I got ready and went and picked up bobby downtown in the afternoon. (we stayed out by the airport, 10 miles away) we walked around for a bit, then grabbed dinner at wendy's and ate in our hotel room. we knew the next day (tuesday) was going to be a busy one.

tuesday morning did not go as planned. bobby had to be downtown at 8 and I woke up with a terrible migraine. I couldn't drive him and he didn't have time to park, so we called him a shuttle/cab. we were not planning on paying $18 that morning, but we had no choice. while he was off committee'ing or commissioner'ing, I was miserable back in the hotel room, but thankful for a cool dark room. Fortunately after "sleeping" and medication, I felt better by lunchtime, so drove downtown and we got to eat lunch with Erik (our next door neighbor from seminary)! that afternoon, bobby was in the assembly (or not, can't remember) so I walked around looking for familiar faces, and found a bunch. I think we also went to a seminar that afternoon. Dinner was at San Antonio Taco Company with Amy & Andy Wood, also from seminary (and our seminary church.) What is a seminary church? ha! I fell in love with SATCo's cheese sauce. YUM!

wednesday was a big day because we left the hotel at 7 am and didn't return til almost midnight. but we got to do some really fun stuff! I meant to go to some seminars in the morning, but my watch battery was dying and it was slow, so I missed them. oh well. I talked to people instead. for lunch, we got to attend the MNA (mission to north america) luncheon and the food was gooooood! but specifically, the chocolate cake was to die for! wow. mark my words, the next time I make a chocolate cake, I will serve it with a raspberry sauce. lesson #1 learned at GA. after lunch, all the women were at an event that I neglected to sign up for, which disappointed me at first, but then I found out that Joy (erik's wife, my next door neighbor) was up at her hotel room with her boys, so I walked 12 blocks (only because I didn't know where I was going) to visit her. It was such a great time to catch up with her! we ate dinner that night with some people from pittsburgh at ... wait for it ... san antonio taco company! haha.

after dinner, we had some special guests & friends of the PCA arrive from pennsylvania. And they got there just in time to go see the Indelible Grace concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium! Bobby and I (and 2000 other people) were so excited for this event. Other than seeing friends, this may have been the REAL reason we came to GA. I'm kidding. sort of.

here we are, waiting for the concert/hymn sing to begin:

My pictures did not come out very well during the concert, but here are a couple.

The stage:

There are many members of the Indelible Grace project/family so we weren't sure who all would be there that night. But we were hoping for two special guests... and they were both there: Derek Webb & Sandra McCracken. Derek is singing lead for this song, and Sandra is backup.

And now it's reversed, Sandra is leading & Derek on backup vocals.

Did you know they are married?

The hymn sing was amazing. Indelible Grace music has ministered to me so much over the past few years, and I'm so excited that Matthew Smith and IG will be coming to Norman in the fall for a concert! hooray!!

We had to leave the concert before it was over, unfortunately, because the garage where we parked our car closed at 11 so we had to get it out. Had we known the concert would have gone that long, we would have moved it, but we never imagined that since it started at 830, it would go past 11! we are so sad we missed the end, but we needed our car. AND, my parents accidentally parked in a "cab lane" and they had a notice that a tow truck was on their way to get their car. for that reason alone, we are glad we had to leave early. oh my!

I think it's time for a part 2, so click here.

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