First we grieved that we wouldn’t be getting together at Camp Copass, Denton, Texas for Annual Assembly 2020.  Then we accepted the fact that we wouldn’t be together in the same room as delegates and friends anywhere.  Then, some of us actually became excited that a virtual, online Assembly might offer some unexpected gifts, and it did.

Ray Reimer did a terrific job at multi-tasking as he moderated the virtual delegate session.  Even though he had some friends monitoring the chat, he basically did it himself.  He kept the agenda going smoothly and effectively.  One of the delegates asked about how the decision to receive PPP funds was processed.  This inspired some fruitful comment, as well as an on-the-spot poll, asking delegates how they felt about WDC receiving these government-sponsored funds.  All in all, the delegate session went remarkably well in a virtual fashion.

Four webinars (or virtual seminars) were offered, and each of them was very well attended (25-55 participants).  We received strong affirmation for each of the hosts of these webinars and their inspiring content.  One person who attended the webinar on youth and faith asked for the link to the recording, so she could share it with the youth of her congregation as a conversation-starter.  If there is a webinar you wanted to participate in, but could not, you, too, may watch the webinars on the “2020 WDC Assembly” YouTube channel.  This is one of the gifts of a virtual Assembly.  You may continue to read and watch videos of much of the Annual Assembly content.

Even though we didn’t meet together face-to-face in Texas, we still experienced a bit of Texas flair, as we listened to Hope Parchmont praise God during the recorded worship service.  So many people helped to make this time of worship possible.

We are also so grateful that we met Assembly expenses by donations.  Thank you to our generous congregations and individual delegates whose contributions helped make this possible.

Was it perfect?  Of course not.  Was it better than some of us expected?  Yes, it was.  This necessary experiment has given us additional ways to imagine sharing resources and support with the congregations and individuals of Western District Conference.  We praise God for what we learned and the gifts we received from our time together (virtually).

     –Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister