voice and vote


I apologize for not blogging last night. It was a late night and I needed to think through what I wanted to say about the day instead of posting in the heat of the moment. You ever have one of those days that starts with an event or mishap? And then you think about foreshadowing and how if you were a character in a book, all signs point to a day slightly off kilter? That was yesterday. 

I went to take a shower around 8 and the water trickled out of the faucet. There was a trickle, a gurgle and then nothing. I called down to the desk and nobody answered. I called again, still no answer. I waited about ten minutes. No water. I let the phone ring long enough and finally talked to a human who told me “the city has no water. We have no idea how long until it’s back. Sorry.” 

Shortly after hanging up, I heard a loud clanking noise and then a crash. The cover of our hvac unit had fallen off the wall, crashing into the lamp, pushing the lamp against the glass window. 



In my head, I was thinking, “I’ve seen Hunger Games. I’ve read a lot of dystopian fiction. I can go into survival mode.” 

Then the water came back on. And I figured out how to screw the hvac cover back in place. And I headed over to the Cobo Center for the most incredible worship service. Bagpipes, timpani drums, cymbals, organ, beautiful liturgy… yes. The worship was rich with meaning and symbolism. The Holy Spirit moved us all. 

And then we got around to voting for a moderator. I’ve been looking forward to watching the voting process at General Assembly because I am a nerdy Presbyterian. 



There were many mishaps with the voting process last night. The website set up for voting wouldn’t work. The back up plan clickers weren’t consistently working.


And by the end of it, advisory delegates (young adults, theological students, and missionaries) voted by raising hands. There was no tabulation of percentages. There were no nerdy statistics for people like me to analyze. Advisory delegates “voted” without measurable results. The commissioners voted by paper ballot and mercifully, the first round of voting yielded enough votes for a clear cut winner. 

All three moderator candidates impressed me. Each was wise and articulate (as you have to be if you’re in the running for moderator.) I saw a clear vision from each and I know we’re in good hands for the next couple years. 

I don’t think the world is ending soon because our hotel had no water for a little bit. Nobody was hurt in a silly maintenance mishap in our room– (Note to housekeepers, though…  might be time to clean the filters on the hvac units so they can run better and last longer). The integrity of the election by commissioners was upheld. 

I’m still disappointed that I can’t tell what percents of YAADS, TSADS, and MADS voted for each candidate. All of the advisory delegates voted at the same time and my chair is on the far side of the room. I couldn’t tell how many other people were voting for each candidate. It was strange to know that as advisory delegates, everyone could see who each of us individually voted for, yet the secret paper ballot election by commissioners was more private. 

It took me back to elementary school when we’d vote for student council representatives by putting our head down on the desk and raising a hand. I still remember how one person would peek and reveal the betrayal of someone promising a vote to one person but actually raising their hand for another. 

I don’t think the rest of the week is going to involve water shut offs, falling metal, and technological hiccups causing problems but that’s mostly because the theme of hope is powerful and permeating this Presbyterian. 

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