I have mixed feelings about diocesan conventions. We just got home from one, and, on the whole, it was a wonderful weekend. By weekend I mean a convention that begins early on Friday afternoon, continues all day Saturday, has a gala banquet Saturday evening, and ends with yet another general session on Sunday morning followed by the Holy Eucharist and final adjournment about Noon or a bit later. Our custom is to alternate sites between the cathedral in Spokane and some other community in the diocese. This weekend we met in Lewiston, Idaho, and the parishes of the region did a terrific job of making arrangements and offering hospitality. I love the fellowship and worship, but I’m less enthusiastic about the formality of our processes. I very much enjoy reconnecting with clergy and lay leaders all across the diocese, renewing old friendships and making new ones. As a high index introvert, there are limits to how much mingling appeals to me. As much as possible I prefer quiet conversations in small groups, but I’ve learned the skills needed to survive in large venues. However, I wonder if a small, rural diocese such as ours needs all the formality of our processes that include chairs of dispatch and credentials making their frequent but generally unnecessary reports. I wonder if we need to set aside hours for proper Robert’s Rules organizing when we get it all done in forty-five minutes and then sit around for an hour or so wondering what to do until the next scheduled session. I suppose it would be different if we had thousands of delegates and many controversial issues to debate. We have neither. As it is, when one counts all the clergy, lay delegates, spouses, visitors and staff there might be two or three-hundred of us – maybe. As a practical matter, we could get all our business done in a single day with a lot of time left over. As a matter of fellowship and worship, we need more time to gather in community. Maybe we should give up on credentials and dispatch and spend more time in community. It’s a curious problem.