Parish Life Conference 2013

Christ is risen! While he will continue to remain risen even after tomorrow, nonetheless we will stop exclaiming so at every opportunity, as we move from the Leave-taking of Pascha to the Ascension, celebrated Wednesday evening and Friday.

As it turns out, I’m still the girl who went to the big chili cook-off at the church where I had spent most of my teens, and mostly hung out with my parents, reading them bits of T S Eliot, because none of us are accomplished minglers, as the occasion demanded. Last week I flew to Kansas City for the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Wichita and Mid America’s annual Parish Life Conference, which is about half clergy and their families, and half whoever wants to come from the parishes. In justice, our hosts worked hard to keep everything running smoothly, everyone I knew who was there are excellent people, and the talks were all very decent, and Orthodox.

And yet…

I’m not sure what to say here. I’m pretty sure that if I had been traveling with a few friends of similar sensibilities in respect to the relative merits of malls, cafes, fountains, grass, and outdoor markets, then things would look much different. We would probably have gotten something from the bakery had a little picnic on a lawn by a fountain, gone for a walk mostly just to explore the neighborhood, talked about something we had heard at the conference, and all would be well. Which is very pleasant, though perhaps not conducive to reflection or growth. As things were, I was nervous, awkward, and moody, and paced the hotel, mall, and plaza as an unsettled spirit. Because I didn’t really want to be left alone to think — I could have done that very well here — but there often wasn’t anything else obviously on offer. So there’s the social and the aesthetic, both of which were “out of my comfort zone.” I do want to consider this more, but might have to break out good old pen and paper, where I don’t have the ability to watch Sherlock episodes instead of writing.

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One thought on “Parish Life Conference 2013

  1. yeah, the picnicking and the wandering sounds good to me…. ,<= I hope you had somewhat of a good time in the midst of it, or that something good came out of the reflecting on it?

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