Friday, 8 January 2016

2016 GCN Conference Day 2

Woke up early today to grab breakfast from Starbucks before the first general session started. Had an awesome bagel, a banana and my usual flat white. Am so glad I got there by 8am because half an hour later the queue doubled in length. And I hate queues.

In any case, Misty Irons was brilliant. I texted two ministry leaders back home in Singapore about watching the conference and one of them actually did. I was pleasantly surprised and happy she did because she said she'd learnt a lot and realised she needed to be more loving and sensitive to LGBT folks. Which is amazing because those were exactly the reasons why I had trouble communicating with her. So thankful for live streaming.

Then I went to the exhibit hall and got 5 books for just under US$100. Yes, I am quite the book nerd. Got Deborah Jian Lee to sign hers and we shared a hug.

I was then surprised by friendly strangers hailing from Austin who asked us to join them for lunch. Had some fish tacos and sweet potato fries and lovely conversation. And I must add, I had some sweet tea that according to my Texan friend was "really sweet" for sweet tea (she mixed hers with some regular iced tea to balance it out while I had mine really sweet).

Workshop Session A was next and I attended the one called "Advocacy: God's Love in Action" and benefitted so much from the sharing of the panel of speakers. They were really inspiring.

In the break between that and the next session, I grabbed a mocha at Starbucks and met blogger John Pavlovitz, had a chat with him and that was really nice.

Then it was to Workshop Session B conducted by my Twitter friend, Austen Hartke, titled "Exploring the Bible Alongside Transgender Youth". He's really a lot taller than his YouTube videos make him out to be, so that was interesting. Anyway, it was a thorough Bible study we had on various texts relating to a variety of topics from the creation story to eunuchs to Jesus remarks on sexual minorities. We then had a small group discussion which was lovely.

After that, I joined a bunch of Side B Christians for dinner. Met another bunch of awesome people and had some ribs and sweet tea that wasn't sweet.

Braved the rain and came back. Saw a protestor carrying a sign and that was a bit scary.

Was too tired to attend the night session with Mary Lambert so I'm now blogging about it and heading off to bed soon (jet lag is taking its toll - it's a 14 hour time difference). I guess I'll catch the broadcast on video later on.

So that's it for today! What I really loved about today was the very tangible presence of God during worship and meeting a bunch of new people and getting to know them. It's awesome! Everyone is so friendly here. :)

Well, that's all for today. I think I'll consolidate my thoughts and blog in greater detail on some of the sessions when I'm back in Singapore and have access to my MacBook Air.

G'night y'all!

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