Wednesday, March 3, 2010
If we could sum up this huge, first-time undertaking in one word, we would have to say it was flawless. We are so thankful that we cannot put our finger on one hitch in the entire weekend, aside from the unseasonably cool weather. We had just under 100 people in attendance and the space at Doubletree Guest Suites was perfect for this size of event. The hotel staff was wonderful and accommodating and Linda and I weren't upset at all that we were given a conference suite which included two bathrooms! One dirty little secret from staying at this hotel is that we love their chocolate chip cookies that are hot out of the oven and available just by going to the desk and asking for one... not really a plus for the diet plan though.
Drs. Tom and Beverly Rodgers had the audience at "hello," having wisely used humorous stories about the differences between men and women to start off. Dr. Bev is quite the "hambone" and has her New York accent down to a science as she regaled a true story about a counseling client who learned that she was able to be intentional in her relationships. Dr. Tom was quite transparent as he took us back to his college years when he wasn't quite so wise about declaring his intentions with Bev. The men especially could identify with his desperately stupid move to go pick her up at her knees in front of a large group of students and faculty when he saw another young man flirting with her. Bev retold the story of her roommates questioning her on this odd behavior by a boy named Tom. "What's up with that?" they asked. Bev said, "I don't know, but I like it!" The doctors have since developed a more structured approach to "intentional dating." There were many laughs and a few tears as singles were confronted with some issues that could be holding them back from having healthy relationships.
What was especially delightful was the opportunity to provide a forum for singles pastors to network. Similar to singles in the church, singles pastors have their specific challenges that too few fellow pastors can identify with. We witnessed these "meetings of the mind" in large groups as well as one-on-one between workshop sessions and over meals.
God provided rain to keep us satisfied to stay indoors on Saturday, the long conference day, then opened up the sunshine for the optional park day on Sunday. Saturday night we enjoyed hanging out with 30+ singles and a few speakers at Downtown Disney's Paradiso 37. We are so thankful for Jim, a First Baptist Orlando single, who picked us up on Sunday and got us in Epcot for free because he works at the park. Who said you can't have fun at Disney World without kids?... nobody whined or cried and we did the things we wanted to do. (Well, Linda would have preferred a few more thrill rides.)
The photos above are the pastors at the Friday night pizza party; Kim, Linda and a few new friends enjoying an early dinner before "go time"; and a photo with a very special lady named Lauree, an award-winning hostess who was a sheer delight to all who are fortunate enough to be her guest.
Overall, the event was quite successful and virtually all feedback was positive. We are talking with many of the pastors there about holding events in their churches later this year. So, we're back home and ready to take on the next adventure!
~Kim and Linda
~ Kim and Linda