Friday, 18 July 2008

News from the big blue tent (2)

Friday has been like Thursday, only more so. Once again the bulk of the day has been spent at the cathedral, listening to Rowan, praying and quietly getting to know one another. In the Bible Study Groups we’re getting to a deeper level of engagement and beginning to touch on areas that we can’t simply agree as platitudes. It’s still early but the process seems to be doing what it was set up to do. As Rowan explained, we’re modelling what it is to be a cell of the Body of Christ; that doesn’t promise to resolve all disputes, but we won’t get far without it (what in my mathematician days we called a “necessary” as opposed to “sufficient” condition).

In the dining halls as well as the formal sessions there is a good mixing of traditions and stances - it doesn’t appear that many are seeking the comfort of the likeminded. Today I’ve talked with bishops from Tanzania, Canada, West Indies, USA, India, New Zealand, Eire and the UK.

The security looks big because to cordon off an outdoor area (the surrounds of the big blue) you need a lot of fencing, but it’s no more than I’m used to when I attend secular voluntary sector conferences for which participants have had to pay fees. Delegates get in, others don’t. We wouldn’t want the press in the bible studies or indabas either, but there it will be more discreet because it’s all indoors. The media have a pretty free run of much of the rest of the site. This is hardly going to be a conference that maintains a high level of secrecy, but we do have the right to do our business in a manner that allows (encourages) us all to feel able to open up to one another.

Highlight of the day: being given an invite to a drinks party hosted by Jack Iker tomorrow. Perhaps this really is engagement across the fault-lines. I felt touched, honoured, and minded to go listen.

Lowlight of the day: 2 minutes later being told the invites were only meant to be given to “sympathetic” bishops. But hey, I do sympathy really well, perhaps I am invited after all.

Posted by David Walker on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 6:20pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Big Blue Tent | Lambeth Conference 2008
Comments

Simon - I guess many are called, few are invited, a few are uninvited, and many are re-called. +Jack doesn't necessarily have to exhibit hospitality if he's not in his own house. Yikes!

Posted by: Fr. Shawn on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 10:47pm BST

+ Iker....? Imagine inviting "only the sympathetic"
Did Jesus extend his arms on the cross at Golgotha for only the sympathetic ? How pathetic ! It makes one wonder if the Gagcon devotees really do know what the Gospel means ??

Posted by: David Lyon on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 1:14am BST

I've no problem with being not invited, or uninvited or disinvited (whatever). I just logged it as a lowpoint because I'd thought, briefly, that the ICB were going to use Lambeth as an opportunity to dialogue across the breadth. Then it became clear that it was more likely to be about stiffening the resolve of those natural conservatives who might have gained a more positive attitude to the Communion by spending time praying and studying scripture with us all.

One of the saddnesses on both sides is that the ringleaders are far more concerned to firm up the faithful than to build bridges across the gaps.

Posted by: David Walker on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 4:06pm BST

One of the saddnesses on both sides is that the ringleaders are far more concerned to firm up the faithful than to build bridges across the gaps.

Yes, well, how embarrassing for the Archbishop of Canterbury to "firm up the faithful than to build bridges cross the gaps."....Bishop V.Gene Robinson comes quickly to mind in the "excluded" from building bridges department...the department of bridge building that could welcome MILLIONS of LGBT Christian human beings.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 8:43pm BST

One of the blessings of the last few years is the ability to witness the conduct of the ring leaders. There are probably some did not come to Lambeth because of further collateral damage as they continue to be exposed as scheming political lobbyists and hate mongerers.

Isaiah 29:15 "Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”"

Malachi is a good read for those who want to be reminded how God perceives priests who break the covenant of peace and withhold mercy or justice.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 9:16pm BST
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