The Rev. Craig Parrish speaks to the morning meeting of the Western Jurisdiction. Photo by Patrick Scriven.
It has been awhile since I took the time to reflect on this General Conference experience. A part of the reason is that I am aware that I can sound despairing, depressed, defeated, so on. Those emotional states do visit me in the midst of this experience, but those emotions are not the sum total. There is great joy seeing old friends and making new ones. There is a quenching of my spiritual thirst at every worship service. There is an inner peace knowing that I will return to the Pacific Northwest and leave behind, not only this crazy democratic process, but also the divisions that threaten and perhaps will ultimately divide our church. There is such a different view of the church and its mission field among so many.
I want to go home, home to the challenges I understand. I know that we have our disagreements in the Pacific Northwest. But we are not vindictive and unkind to one another.
I have discovered a deep seated suspicion and distrust of our episcopal leaders. It is evident in speeches, in private conversations and in voting. I don’t understand… I have little experience of episcopal behavior which would lead me to suspicion and distrust but it permeates some quarters of the church. Our bishops seem to be under some sort of assault all the time. I fear those attitudes are like one rotting potato in a bag, soon the whole bag is rotten and an awful smelling mess.
It is affirming to meeting people who are also concerned about the new Episcopal Fund formula.
The debate on that issue will probably be Friday. Stay tuned.
Time for bed. Good night.
Rev. Craig Parrish is the Conference Treasurer for the Pacific Northwest Conference and head of the PNW delegation to Tampa, Florida for General Conference 2012.