First, it is prayerful. Normally we end our service with a formal dismissal sending us out into the world. Next week, we won’t say the dismissal until after the annual meeting, which makes the meeting a kind of continuation of our worship. During the meeting itself, we’ll pray, including for people who have died in the last year. At the end, we’ll say another prayer, sing a song, and then hear the dismissal. Setting the meeting in the context of worship gives it a good feeling.
Second, it includes food! Our coffee hour crew always outdo themselves, so we gather with hot beverages, a little something sweet, and a little something savory.
Third, we get to review the various reports. I see a lot of what happens at Saint David’s, but not everything. More to the point, I tend to miss the cumulative impact of what people do. It’s like watching a child grow. A parent doesn’t notice it because the parent is with the child every day. But when the child goes to the doctor and gets measured, it turns out a lot has changed. The annual meeting is a little like that. A lot happens over the course of the year, but I only really appreciate just how much when we pause to take stock at the annual meeting.
Fourth, things are generally good. I can imagine that annual meetings are not fun when Churches have to deal with divisive issues or serious problems. Thankfully, that is not us!
Most of all, I value the opportunity to pause and reflect together on what God is calling us to do now. The possibilities are exciting, if only we can get on board with God’s mission. And the annual meeting is a time to do that.
All this is to say, I look forward to my seventh annual meeting as the priest at Saint David’s!!