Friday, May 15, 2009

Rapid City Journal interviews our Bishop-elect

Mary Garrigan of the Journal provides the only consistent mainstream media coverage when it comes to religion in the state. She spoke with John Tarrant shortly after the election, and you can read the whole article here.

Among the quotes I found refreshing was

“I hate labels, but I would call myself a moderate,” Tarrant said. “I think we need liberals to respect conservatives and conservatives to respect liberals and for all of us to not forget that we really do need to respect each other.” He admits that the national church hasn’t done a great job of that so far, but said past failures shouldn’t preclude the possibility of future success. (emphasis mine)

It is high time that folks in national leadership own up to this. One need not be on either "side" of any particular issue to see that disagreements have been - and at present continue to be - massively mishandled.

This summer's General Convention is poised to continue the destructive trends of single-issue advocacy, increased centralization of authority in unaccountable leaders, multi-million dollar lawsuits, new church canon law sanctions against dissenters within the denomination and isolation from the wider Christian witness in the world - all while the church's own reports show it aging, shrinking and unable to evangelize.

I think we have confidence within the Diocese of South Dakota that John can build relationships and provide positive leadership. This was reflected in the positive tone of the election Convention and his large vote majorities.

He will need our prayers, encouragement and supernatural patience (a fruit of the Holy Spirit, after all) when it comes to the dysfunctional denominational gatherings that come with his new role.


Anonymous said...

Well, a bishop who might actually be able to call a spade a spade. That would be refreshing.

Anonymous said...

One thing's for sure. They need to get a more updated picture.