Today there is a chance to register at the Salt Palace Convention Center and a legislative committee gathering tonight. But mostly it's a chance to get oriented to the city, catch up on the reading I have put off until now, and try to find my compatriots from Western Mass. In the meantime I am spotting Episcopalians everywhere - or at least they look like Episcopalians!
I've been to (or more accurately through) Salt Lake City only once before on a family trip out west: we flew in and spent a day and a night here before heading toward Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. Mostly, though, it's a new city for me. So this morning after a bit of exercise and an early breakfast (my body is still on east coast time) I went walking to find the grocery store and get in some provisions. I found Harmons, a great store that has everything, including a Park City Brewers IPA, limited to 3.2% alcohol content.
I work for a bishop who likes to walk, and I've done a bit of walking with him. In fact, when I was in Denver last month for the Festival of Homiletics one of our Presiding Bishop candidates (Bishop Curry) asked me, "is Doug still walking all over the diocese?" I told him I thought after three sixty-mile walks up and down the Berkshires, the Pioneer Valley, and Worcester County, that maybe we were done for a while.But there really is something to be said for walking.
Usually at home when I walk it's to "go for a walk." It's not to get somewhere. When I need to get somewhere I get in my car. But what you see goes by too fast. For example, while walking back from Harmons I paused (my bag was kind of heavy so I needed a couple of little stops along the way) and noticed these amazing flowers. So I "considered them" for a few moments at least - as a first-century rabbi once suggested as a spiritual practice.
I also passed the entrance to "headquarters" for the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints - this is actually one of the places that we did visit as a family when I was here on that western trip a decade or so ago. Pretty impressive - and I think that being here will leave a mark on us Episcopalians over the course of these days ahead. Context matters.
So here we are, and here we go. I am thrilled to be a part of the work that The Episcopal Church will be doing here at our 78th General Convention. As mentioned in a previous post, members of our deputation will be blogging at Conventional Wisdom: From the 78th General Convention. Check us out!
Here I'll be posting some more personal reflections here, as time allows.