As this blog is posted, I’m currently at a conference center north of Gig Harbor with pastors from all over our synod. Most of our announcements list that I’m at “Bishop’s Conference”, which is true.
But actually it’s called “Bishop’s Convocation”, so what’s the difference?
Convocation Vs. Conference
To begin with, there isn’t a huge difference between convocation and conference. There are lectures. This year I’ll be hearing and learning about renewal, sabbath, and three presentations from Margaret Marcuson. There will be fellowship time with my colleagues. We’ll hear Bishop’s annual report and words from other leaders in our synod. And thank God, there will be some free time for me to check emails and rest.
The biggest difference though, is the elements of worship and ceremony. Although some conferences (especially for pastors) have these elements, naming these days together “convocation” invokes a sense of ceremony.
Each day there is some kind of worship service, whether it be a short morning prayer or full communion. And in our final worship service of the day, all of the pastors, deacons, and rostered leaders are blessed and affirmed in their vocation.
So in many ways, this time is more than a conference. It’s an assembly, it’s church. This time is a way for the pastors and leaders of our synod to come together with our bishop, to worship together, to learn together as disciples, and to be reminded that God calls each of us into this vocation together.
So if you were wondering what Pastor is up to this week, or why my calendar says convocation but the announcements say conference, now you know. Now you know a little bit more about this annual conference/convocation.
And now I’m off to the next presentation!