I wrote the following post as part of the beginning of my last post on Friendship. I took it out, though, because that post was getting way too long. So here it is for you now. Enjoy!
This year at Winter Conference (I spent Dec 26th to Jan 1st there) was a first for me in a couple of ways. This was my first time at Eastern Winter Conference in Toronto – my last 4 Conference experiences were always in the West. This was also my first time as staff at Conference. I quite liked being on staff at Conference, and one of my favorite parts of the day was being at Staff Meeting at 8AM each morning. I just love staff, for much of the same reasons I love C4C students. One of my favorite times this year was early in December when I got to spend a week with the Eastern Canadian staff at “Campus Training Days”, up in a snowy, isolated spot in Ontario. Anyways, I feel like many of my colleagues are friends I really enjoy, and I’m sad that I don’t know many of them nearly as well as I’d like, since we’re all over the place in different parts of Eastern Canada. Sometimes we refer to ourselves as a “staff family”. It’s an apt description.
Another part of being on staff that I liked was feeling like I was able to influence, in small ways, the experience that students had at Conference (for the better, I hope). I wish I had gotten to do more, and also that I had done a better job, but I tried my best to work with the video, Powerpoint, and worship lyric backgrounds in a way that helped students glorify God and take in what was being presented. I do love tech/presentation stuff 😛 Half of my staff duties at Conference was just as I described – working with the audio/visual tech stuff under Silas’ supervision. Another perk of being in the back in main sessions was that I found my worship experience was a little different. Surrounded by just a handful of fellow staff (or volunteers), I felt freer to put my hands up when I felt like expressing that to God, for example. I’m always quite self-conscious about that sort of thing, and for a part of me, that just isn’t natural when I know other people can see me. But when I’m in the back, with just a few people that I know pretty well anyways, I feel like I can do whatever I want and just do it towards God.
I found that Eastern Winter Conference (~500 students) was only slightly bigger (in feel) than Western Winter Conference (typically 300+ students?). The biggest difference I found this year had to do with me, not the Conference. I went into this Conference knowing that I was in a transient time in my life. I didn’t know, and I still don’t know, what exactly I’ll be doing in May. Or July. I’ve gained a lot more over the last week that I can use to make my decision, but a big component of my Conference experience was this awareness that my life is a little unstable right now. I wasn’t a student, but I wasn’t a full-time comissioned staff, either, so I guess that made me feel a little in-between in life. That is unsettling, but unsettling should be ok for Christ-followers because God desires to trust in Him and His goodness, anyways. Especially when life tries to give you reasons to be scared.