In response to John’s comment, which started to be too long for a comment, here is why I voted for our Annual Conference to stay at Lake Junaluska.
To tell you the truth I came in ready for the conference to move. I think we as a conference should be willing to make necessary changes to encourage growth and hospitality. Since the Lake Junaluska auditorium doesn’t fit all of our delegates it seemed appropriate to move. I did not agree with a couple of the arguments that were flying around. IE…Lake Junaluska is to pretty to move, God is only at the Lake, we won’t be able to be spiritual in Greensboro, there is too much crime in that area of Greensboro. That was all too much sentimentalism and was really only grounded in personal opinion (and lack of the ability to see God in concrete).
In the end I did vote to stay and did so for two reasons. 1. Our money would go to help another United Methodist agency. If we moved to Greensboro we would only be padding Kourey’s pockets, owner of the convention center. Plus the area around Lake Junaluska benefits well from our coming there, although they do hike up prices on hotel rooms and such. The estimated economic impact of AC is around $1,000,000 in the area. I would much rather do that in the Waynesville/Maggie Valley area than Greensboro (3rd largest city in NC) because it is a large positive impact on the community.
The other was a passionate plea from two youth delegates. They said they grew up together and they “always began the summer at the Lake.” I thought about my two children and that “the Lake” is about the only time PKs can get together for a long period of time. They can interact with kids who understand their unique situation (living in a parsonage, Mom/Dad always at meetings, hearing people talk badly about their Mom/Dad). If we met in Greensboro the families would stay at home.
Overall those two reasons, economic effect on the community and my children growing up knowing other PKs and not regretting everything “church” persuaded me to stay. But as my wife reminds me, NO ONE CAN COMPLAIN NOW. I can no longer complain that the so called air conditioned Stuart Auditorium is a brisk 95 degrees. I can no longer complain and I won’t because I voted to stay.