PPF GA Intern Colleen Earp's Reflection

Meet Colleen Earp and the other 2014 GA interns.

I have been present at the 221st General Assembly in Detroit this week as one of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s interns, and I am exhausted.

This week, I have received an incredible education from countless organizations, commissioners, advisory delegates and observers in topics concerning environmental justice, peace in Israel/Palestine, and marriage equality issues, among many, many other topics. I’ve learned about church polity, about exceedingly specific grammar, and about how every vote counts.

I have felt the heavy sadness of the commissioners rejecting things I poured my energy and heart into, and the intense joy as other acts of just peace and equality were passed.

Of course, there were also the long waking hours and short nights of sleep on the floor of a nearby church, the rushing from plenary to strategy session to commission meeting to briefing dinner and back again, and the endless organization of emails, twitter feeds, mass texts, testimonies, and reflections.

I am exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but this might be the most beautiful kind of exhausted I’ve ever been. My cup is running over and spilling everywhere. 

I applied for this internship because I wanted to come to General Assembly to see the bigger picture of the church I grew up in, and am serving this year as a Young Adult Volunteer. It has been a great opportunity not just to see that bigger picture, but also to connect with it, and it has left me full of hope. I am part of a church that is happening. This week has been full of discussion and discernment as well as opportunities to learn and to love. As a church, we have taken risks to include others and encourage peace, not because they were the easy answers, but because according to Holy Spirit, they were right answers. The exhaustion will pass, but I believe this church will continue on. And here I am, part of that picture!