Greetings to all my friends at General Convention in Salt Lake City. For the first time since 1997 I will not be there due to recovery time from illness. I will miss it; I will mostly miss you, especially those of you who I have had the tendency only to see every three years.
It has been very hard to step back, but also a good exercise in humility. I am no more crucial to decision-making concerning the future of the church than any one else, and there are so, so many of you who will do a good work over the next ten or so days, I have no doubt. I will be home saying my prayers, tending my garden (literally), and continuing to seek peace.
Rather than focus on any piece of legislation--and there are several, of course, that are near and dear to my heart, I am most concerned about this: that anxiety about the future of the church will overcome our promise to follow Jesus in the way, the truth, and the life. Will we be a church paralyzed by statistics and myriad threats to the institution, or will we keep on keeping on walking in the way, doing the truth, and living the life? Jesus told us there would be days like these, when we would be challenged mightily to stop risking our life, but in doing so find it has slipped through our fingers. This is not just a challenge for individuals--to lose life in order to find it--but for us as a body, the church.
We need a leader in a presiding bishop who will not only be a non-anxious presence, but an inspiring one, able to help us replace anxiety with a bold Spirit, the willingness to risk it all (our institutional life) for the sake of finding it all (the Gospel life).
Let resurrection prevail over these next few days.