I hinted earlier today that summer vacation is about to begin.  Next week, my family will be travelling to Ohio for the biennial convention of the Mennonite Church in the United States.  I’m looking forward to it.

Back in 1981, my parents, sister, and I spent a few days at the convention in Bowling Green, Ohio.  My sister and I had such a good time that we insisted on attending the entire convention when it next came around.  So in 1983, we went to Bethlehem, PA; in 1985, we went to Ames, IA; in 1987, we went to Purdue, IN; and in 1989, we went to Normal, IL.  Actually, that last time was the only convention that I attended as a youth.  College and grad school interfered with things for a while, but four years ago, I made it to convention again – this time with my wife and daughters.  That one was in Charlotte, NC.  We had planned on going to San Jose, CA, two years ago, but the birth of our youngest prevented that trip.  But now that we’re all a little older and the meeting is close, we’ll be on the road again.

I’m excited for a number of reasons:

  • I’ll get to participate in the adult sessions.  Four years ago, I was a delegate, which meant that I attended the business sessions.  This year, I’ll have a wide variety of seminars and worship services to choose from.
  • I’ll get to hear what other Mennonites are doing to make their congregations open and affirming.  Not that this will be part of the “official” convention.  Mennonites, in general, aren’t very comfortable with this.  But that doesn’t stop the unofficial stuff from happening.
  • There are activities for the children.  Childcare!
  • All of the grandparents will be there.  Childcare!  Oh, and some geocaching, too.  (“What,” you may ask, “is geocaching, and why does it involve grandparents?”  That’s another blog entry.)
  • There will be personal time.  I hope to have time for various activities, like beginning a re-reading of the Bible in order to see it in a new way.  And blogging.  And geocaching.
  • We’re staying at a Hampton Inn.  Sometimes, I make myself a mocha at 10 pm, just “because I can”.  It’s a standing joke between ordinary spouse and me.

(That’s not a complete list, just what I can run off in two minutes.)

Look for more Columbus posts to be forthcoming…