LWML convention aerial

LWML Convention In Des Moines

“A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated, or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms, or criteria, often taking the form of a custom”, says the dictionary.   Conventions are markers of the way that things have always been done.  We make jokes out of that kind of thing.  “That’s the way we have always done it” as an explanation for an action will usually get some derisive comments.  If the past 15 years have taught us anything it is that conventional wisdom isn’t really conventional and usually not very wise.

Leading up to some conventions we start hearing the conventional wisdom actually being expressed.  You have to be paying attention, but it is out there.  Here are some examples –

Telling the truth is “going off message”.

In a political climate that is steeped in race and racial politics, the politicians will say that race is something that no one is talking about.

When race is talked about the one subject that is not talked about is the fact that the party that has “the black vote” has been in control for years and hasn’t addressed any of the issues of the so called black vote.

Many people believe that their vote does not matter.  That was the conventional wisdom that politicians desperately sought to change.  The idea that actually having to prove your identity to vote in an election is seen by some as an example of trying to suppress voting and making sure that your vote doesn’t matter.  Now the conventional wisdom is that a candidate can win a primary by 11% of the vote and get less than half the delegates and that is fine because – “that is the way we have always done it”.

Conventions are also large gatherings of people that will set the agenda and the vision for an organization of which they have an interest and a stake.  Our church is having a convention.  These are important gatherings and I can attest to the fact that they make a difference.  My Board and others that I know about usually spend a great deal of time looking to see that we have fulfilled what conventions have asked/mandated us to do.

I have witnessed the amount of work that it takes to get a convention ready, run it, and do it well.    I admire those that get into the details necessary to run a convention.  So say a prayer for the LCMS Convention this summer in Wisconsin and for the LWML Convention in 2017 wherever it may be.