I’m in Charleston for Blackbaud’s Conference on Philanthropy. Already I’ve had an incredible time!
- Saturday, the US Airways folks in Portland, ME kindly put me on a United flight to make sure I got to Charleston in time. The airlines worked together! That seems like a miracle.
- Then I met a brand new believer in O’Hare that was coming to this conference! We had a great talk about things ranging from Jesus and Judaism to Christians and the arts.
- Then I found out I had been put in First Class by the Portland folks! So cool.
- In first class, I got into a wonderful conversation with the passenger across the aisle. Turns out he was a senior official in South Carolina government and a creator of businesses I’ve heard about. He invited me to his church, St. Andrews.
- I didn’t see him at St. Andrew’s but that didn’t surprise my, he’d just flown in from Beijing! But I did have a wonderful time worshipping with the folks at St. Andrew’s. I was even taken in by a family. Paul and Ellen have kids similar to our kids age and had familiarity with Augusta, Maine! They ended up taking me out to lunch and showing me around Mt. Pleasant.
- In the afternoon, I attended a terrific pre-conference seminar about marketing planned giving. It’s so nice to hear someone else stress the things I stress in my teaching: relationships, asking people when they want to be asked and what they’re interested in, and using research to be a more relational fundraiser. (I actually thought he might have heard my CDE program!)
- Then last night, after a lavish reception hosted by Blackbaud, I went to a Sara Groves, Chris Rice, and Jars of Clay! What an incredible concert. I’ve used Sara Groves in a sermon a few months ago. Chris Rice’s “I’m Smelling Coffee” inspired the URL of this blog. And I’m inspired by Jars of Clay’s focusing on being great artists for the King.