Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Home Sweet Home, and Heading Out Again

Here are the photos from the last days in Busan. I arrived home on Saturday, and am heading out on Thursday for the PPC Board Meeting. I'm still mulling over the impact of the WCC GA and you will see another blog post or two.

Right now, I'm just grateful for the gift of having been a PC(USA) delegate there, and grateful to be home with enough clean laundry to pack my bag again, with a few dog snuggles in between.

The PC(USA) delegation.

Breakfast on the last day: drinkable yogurt (my ideal delivery system for calcium), grapes, and wafer cookies. Yeah, I've done better.


A whole section of the convention center I hadn't seen

Running off to the market - the view

This place is serious

Stylish Evie


Out to dinner, chomping on shrimp

God's sweet goodness: mashed banana with cinnamon, fried in pancake format

Stayed up all night, headed to the airport at 4am, counters opened at 5:30am, and here we are waiting to get on a flight to Seoul at 7:20am

Incheon Airport - many wonders

This is explicitly for my nieces

Back to Hartsfield-Jackson. I won't even tell you how long it took to walk from the gate to customs because it wasn't as long as the actual flight (we were sitting in the section with a bunch of small kids), but I was so done.

Friday, November 8, 2013

An Ode to Cultural Imperialism: How I Miss Robert's Rules of Order

I won't lie. During all the consensus decision making, which was extremely contentious due to the fact that we (the WCC GA delegates) were basically making drafting changes to documents -

Wait, by "we" I mean a bunch of dudes. Sometimes there would be like four guys deep at the microphones. Once there were four microphones with people waiting to speak. Two of the microphones had women waiting. The moderator chose to call on the two men. I'm sure there is some kind of rational explanation for this, but I mostly kept giving other men the stink-eye just because they weren't handling their brothers and keeping them from taking up so much air time.

Ok, so people (and by "people," I mean a bunch of guys with an occasional woman) were giving little suggestions to "improve" the drafts of documents. This did include a short tussle over whether to have the NKJV quote or the NRSV quote of a scripture. I'm so not lying. I turned around to express myself to the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan delegation, and one delegate had this amused look on his face.

Here's the thing. The work and the experience were so meaningful. But the parts where the consensus process got super-confusing and messy, I just wanted to go back to Robert's Rules. I'm not going to lie. It's just so simple to understand (for me, maybe not for others). And it provides a place for minority opinions to be registered. With consensus, it does allow people to disagree. However, every time a minority disagrees with a decision, the moderator has to ask those who disagree if they can live with the majority decision.

I know, I should really appreciate everyone's voices being shared. I should make sure that any decision-making process allows for all voices. But consensus is just as complicated a process as is Robert's Rules/parliamentary procedure, and the process combined with limited time allowed for discussion really can quash serious disagreement and discussion (unless you're a dude, according to this meeting).

I'm sure I'll feel guilty about my cultural imperialism after I get some sleep. Just not right now.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Photos from November 6 & 7: WCC GA

Here are a series of photographs. Most I took yesterday (the 6th) while wandering about the Madang space - the exhibits were fantastic. A lot of art, gathering spaces, even a children's space. I didn't take a photo because there were people sleeping on the kids' foam squares. The grown-ups need naps more than the kids these days.

My seminary classmate the Rev. Prof. Lee EunJoo! She is so awesome. She iss teaching in the Korean Ecumenical Theological Institute during the assembly.

About water.

The women's space.

A lot of conversation about nuclear energy, nuclear power, and nuclear weapons at this assembly.

A photo art exhibit.

Art on the assembly's theme: God of Life, Lead Us to Justice & Peace.

The space for the ACT Alliance.

The youth space was so cool-looking, but at 35 with a mortgage and salt/pepper hair, I figured I shouldn't invade the space.

A powerful photo exhibit focusing on stateless peoples in Asia.

Again, lots of conversation about nuclear energy.

I'm grateful to the WCC for teaching me about the caste system and its impact on people way back in 1999. A very active constituency is here.

An important exhibit on arms trafficking in and throw Mexico. Most guns in Mexico come from the U.S.
Yeah, think about it...

A labyrinth. It didn't seem prayerfully placed at first, in the middle of the madang, but it does make sense to pray in and through and around the hustle and bustle.

Yes, that's Dr. Mercy Amba Oduyoye in the women's area.

A conversation of Very Important Women about women's ordination and leadership. A Methodist bishop, an outgoing president of the WCC, and PCK professor and pastor the Rev. Prof. Bae HyunJu, who is just amazing.

My friend-for-life, Adele Halliday, on staff with the United Church of Canada.

Really cool exhibit for book nerds.

A cultural presentation. These were almost non-stop during the assembly, so those of us serving as delegates on committees missed most of them.

A great program. So happy they had a whole area to raise awareness.

Rev. Chun Min-Heui, the ecumenical officer of the PROK. She helped host me when I was
visiting Korea with friends in 2005.

Gradye found this americano in a can, with fantastic illustrations.

I got this gum because I thought it was spearmint. Nope, apple. I need to learn Korean.


Evie's dinner.

From the peace plenary on the 7th. We heard from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee!

Not sure what we're supposed to do with these cool ribbons distributed during the peace plenary.

Had second lunch with Meredith! We had bingsoo. Yum.

Maybe 80% of the speakers on the floor of the assembly during business sessions are men.
And after awhile, it wears on me. This was my feeling I shared with my delegation.

The PC(USA) delegation!