Delegates are arriving today here at Shingle Creek, the site of the Wesleyan General Conference.
The classy hotel is significantly nicer digs than the conference sites of the 50's (Frankfort or Fairmount Camp meeting grounds or Winona lake conference grounds) or 40 years ago when the Wesleyan Methodists and Pilgrim Holiness merged (Anderson College) or even the post merger Methodist conference site at
Lake Junaluska. Wesleyans are now hotel people, not camp meeting folk. Even our youth conventions happen at classy hotels.
Rooms are fancy and feature wide screen LG TVs and there is one channel featuring back to back World Hope videos. Internet access here costs an extra 10 bucks a day and is not available next door in the convention center which mystified younger folk who consider Internet access an entitlement like air to breathe.
Some have grumbled about Wesleyans going to fancy hotels like this in the face of world needs, but most of those are not delegates coming at the denomination's expense. Actually the planners claim the total net cost here was actually cheaper. (All delegate travel and on-location expenses for general conference in TWC is borne by the headquarters budget not the various districts sending delegates).
The hallways and reception areas are full of folk meeting old friends. Dress so far is Florida-casual, though I saw three ties already, but one was on a candidate and the other two were old men.
Actual registration begins this afternoon, though many are already checked into their rooms already. The exhibits hall opens this afternoon at 4PM.
The First legislative Session begins at 6PM tonight when Earle Wilson delivers the "Pastoral Letter" which is the closest thing Wesleyans have to a papal statement.
Today--GBA meeting... there is wind of at least one "late memorial" being brought by some GBA members to eliminate the Yes-no vote for GS and go back to the open ballot method--no word yet on its fate.
1 Pm Monday--elections begin
I will be doing real-time text message from floor on the results of the voting on officers as well as the memorials-- see below the summary list of memorials with numbers and (if you are really interested) print out a copy of the official memorials from the site I list below)
OK going out into the hallways to sniff around....
--Keith Drury 11Am Saturday