Synode Régional

I've always thought that Synod was an interesting word. If you try to understand it by breaking it down into its component parts you don't go far wrong, do you. Syn. Od. Synod.

Anyway the Synode Régional was in the charming and remote town of Rieubach, near the Mas d'Azil way down in the Ariège. Here's a few photos.

Synodes are not good places for the tummy or the wasteline as people try to present the best of their regional cuisine and also to make people feel at home. I don't know quite how this one worked out, but the first meal we had was a wonderful choucroute. The second was andouillette, but by that time I was feeling the need for lightness, so I stuck to the "salade de magret de canard" starter and let the "pigs guts sausage in a savoury onion casserole" pass me by. I did crack for a marvellously aromatic cheese that looked so innocent but had a strong element of ammonia. It was delicious spread with the local fig jam. I have paid dear for it since.

I went to the Synode as a humble pasteur associé, not in post in the church (so we can call a French pastor when the time comes) and therefore without a vote. I came back with a vote, elected to the regional committee and also to be a regional delegate on the national synod. OOPS ! A moment's inattention can have serious repercussions.

The preparation to vote on the regional committee (Commission Executive Sud-Ouest) was one of those precious moments. Our local secretary and treasurer had worked out between them that I was elgible ( = electable) but our National Secretary had arrived and he maintained that I was not. Out come the rule books. (Presbyterians will understand this.) We have a rule book that explains every situation you can possibly come across.

Page 54 Section 1 Paragraph 6 clearly said I was eligible.
Page 73 Section 7 Paragraph 9 clearly said I was not.

I went to my happy place and waited until the negotiations, discussions and interpetations were over.

After much discipline waving and page flicking it was decided. I was eligible. I was elected. There we are. I will get to know the train to Toulouse a bit better.


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