By Rev. C. Shane Moore
May 15, 2016 | Portland, Oregon
The other day I was asked how my experience has been so far at General Conference. I have enjoyed getting to know people, seeing people from other parts of the country I’ve meet through ministry, meeting new people from across the denomination. But as I was finishing day four, I realized the biggest impact on me hasn’t been anything directly related to The United Methodist Church.
Every morning I wake up at 6am to catch the Max Line at 6:30am. If you know me in any way you probably know I’m not a morning person. On a typically day, 8am is early for me to wake up. So you can imagine that I’m not very friendly in the morning. But while I may not be friendly, the people of Portland are.
Every morning the TriMet people greet me with a smile and offer me card for a free coffee and donut. As I get to the convention center the security staff greets me by name and asks me how my morning is. Now I do have a name tag on but to be honest even with a name tag I don’t know if I would greet people by name. Everyone from staff, police officers and citizens have been extremely friendly. And I’m not the only person to recognize what effect this has had on our experience in this great city.
Sometimes it is easy to forget the role of hospitality. Especially when everyone is part of the tribe we call United Methodist. We forget the impact of the simple things. The joy it brings when someone smiles at you. The way your outlook can change when someone takes the few seconds to greet you by name. As stressful as General Conference can be, the hospitality shown by the City of Portland has made all the difference.
Rev. C. Shane Moore is a father, husband, United Methodist pastor who serves as pastor of Simpson UMC and as campus minister of the Wesley Foundation at Washington State University in the community of Pullman, WA, and fan of sports especially KC Royals, Wichita State Shockers and Washington State Cougars!