Electoral Map

Above is TIME.com’s electoral map, as of today, Nov. 3rd, 2008, here is their article. I participated in early voting and only had to wait in line for about 50 minutes. I thought the process went smooth although i did not have to show any ID. That shocked me. They asked my address and I confirmed that I was the one who lived their verbally but that was it. I am glad I was the first to vote at that address…I would hate to think if someone voted in my place.
When I approached the back of the line the last person noticed the sweatshirt I was wearing (it said Duke) and commented on my good choice. I struck up a conversation and found out that he was actually a retired Methodist minister. We had a good time talking church politics, the new bishop, old bishops and ministerial life after ministry. (It seems you never really retire!) The 50 minutes went pretty quick because of him. Funny who you meet in line to vote!

NC = Battleground State

I am shocked, but not too shocked to see that NC has now turned into a battleground state. We have voted for the GOP candidate for my entire life, since the election in 1980. This means that for the first time I may have a chance to actually be counted. This gets me excited about voting this year. For the four presidential campaigns I could vote in, I have voted in one. For the first two 1996 and 2000, truthfully I did give a crap. Then in 2004 I began to care. I voted for Kerry but since the majority of my state voted for Bush, Bush got our 15 electoral votes. If I did vote in 2000 I would have voted for Gore but once again, that vote wouldn’t have counted.

But this year it is different. Currently it looks like NC is on the fence and leaning towards Obama. Both candidates are putting some money into the state by the number of commercials and mailers I have received. It will be interesting to ‘matter’ this go around.

WNCC Annual Conference

It has been the first day of meetings at the annual conference of the Western North Carolina Conference. We voted on petitions. We casted ballots. We sat in the hot, non-air conditioned auditorium. Nothing new, except that this is the first year I could actually vote.

I am often cynical about conference, the business aspect of church. I wonder if we are really doing God’s work or are we simply Pharisees who just dress different. But I had to admit I was looking forward to casting my ballots and electing delegates to Jurisdictional and General conference. The countdown on the Methoblog site always reminds me it is coming very soon.

There I sat, sweating, getting some relief from the wind blowing in off of Lake Junaluska. I looked at the names of all the clergy in the WNCC and I had to pick 13 in the first ballot. I glanced through the pages and I realized something. I knew really no one. I didn’t know who would be good at these conferences. I didn’t know who would represent what I think should happen at these conferences. But I had to pick 13. I glanced through booklet and I looked for familiar names. I voted for who I knew. That was the only requirement.

Then ballot 2 came about and I realized I was back in high school. We were voting for prom king and queen. The one thing I was looking forward to was merely a popularity contest. The wind left my sails. The bishop has done a good job trying to keep this a holy time, but it is hard when it is hot and we continue to do ballot after ballot.

Oh well, I guess I can rest easy in my cynicalness. I can find hope in knowing God will use those popular people elected. God works despite our votes. Thank you God because I just colored in a couple of names during this last ballot!