In a few days I’ll be having supper with close to 200 friends.  The organization of which I am a part is having its annual general gathering and delegates from across Canada are coming to Vancouver to meet with each other, transact some organizational business, gain some new ideas–and eat supper together with me on Tuesday pm.  As the executive director of our organization it falls to me to be the “host” for the time. 

My wife is nervous.  Having that many people come together leaves her with some low grade anxiety about details of the event.  My staff is showing signs of stress.  I must admit that the planning for the event really rested with some capable people other than me.  Me?  Yeah, I have some concerns.  But really, I am looking forward to seeing a number of people that I don’t get to see very often.  My biggest concern is that I am so involved in the program of the event that I won’t have time to sit down and talk with a lot of people I haven’t had a chance to visit with for too long. 

I get to bring a key note address on Tuesday pm.  I’ve been working on it for a couple of months already.  If I know that I am scheduled for these kinds of events I am a Hoover vaccum for months in advance.  I pick up little tidbits and insights and quotes and illustrations along the way.  I write them down on scraps of paper and throw them into a file folder.  Then, about a week before I sit down and try to compose something that is exciting, inspiring, informative and helpful.  You want to “bring life to the room” not “suck the life out of the room” with your talk.  I am going to be delivering a talk about how churches can respond to the opportunities of a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Canada.  Canada hasn’t always looked like she does today.  In fact, 30 years ago she looked a lot different.  In 30 years into the future she’ll look different again. It’s up to us to take steps today to see where we’ll fit into the future. 

So, that’s on the agenda for the next couple of days.  I’ll let you know how it works for us.