By Beverly Beltramo
I feel like I am finally coming back to earth — these past weeks (and months!) of planning and worry have come to completion, and the NACC conference is behind us.
So many people told me what a great conference it was — and I agree. As much as I give credit to the awesome planning team we had (shout-out: Jack, Rich, Tom, Bridget and Vickie!) , I am also mindful that there was so much that we had absolutely no control over— there were moments when the spirit interceded, and it was magnificent!
Allow me to share just a few of those moments…
The first was watching that beautiful altar cloth carried in as part of the opening procession. I knew about it, had seen it, but I, and many others, had tears in our eyes as we watched this elegant symbol brought forward. It became a leitmotif for the conference, woven through our prayer and our speakers, always present with us. The spirit was powerfully at work.
The second was in January, when Wendy Cadge (who had to cancel her speech to us in 2014 due to her pregnancy) contacted David Lichter to reiterate she would love to come speak to us someday if there was ever an opening. Two days later, one of our plenary speakers cancelled, and we found ourselves with an opening! Those who attended the conference know the rest of that story and how wonderfully she was received. Spirit at work.
When Rich and Tom went to pick up the 100 carnations we had ordered, somehow they didn’t have any. So we had to content ourselves with 100 of the most beautiful yellow roses I have ever seen (one of them somehow made it home in my carry-on bag and is resplendent on my windowsill). Spirit at work.
I know there were more — and probably many I am not aware of. I was so moved by the beautiful words of our four award recipients, and so touched by the power (and humor!) of our plenary speakers. There is much that lingers in my heart. I came away feeling that our time together was blessed, truly sacred space that we shared. Thank you — every single person who attended — for that gift we gave one another.
For those who could not attend, please do two things. First, get yourself some popcorn and watch the plenaries online at this link. Second, be watching for the announcement for next year’s conference, mark your calendar, and begin saving your pennies so that you can attend.
Beverly Beltramo, BCC, is director of spiritual support services at Oakwood Healthcare in Dearborn, MI and was chair of the 2015 conference planning task force.