The Church of Scotland, the denomination I happen to be a member of, holds a week long annual business meeting in Edinburgh. The clergy take turns to go, normally once every four years. There are an equivalent number of elders at the meeting too. It's called the General Assembly, it starts today, and this year I am one of the "chosen ones". I will be commuting by train to Edinburgh for a week (four kids and a puppy and the laundry call me home each day). The downside of the Assembly is that it's often desperately boring - interesting subjects get made boring by the style of the thing - all deliverances and amendments and addenda and counter-motions. But it's a necessary service to the church, and is a feature of the presbyterian style of church government that the CofS adopts. But on the upside you get to see pals you haven't seen for years and go for coffee with them. Yippee!