Friday, 1 August 2008

News from the Big Blue Tent (16)

… or more accurately today it’s news from the big white train, as I head back north and west ready for tomorrow’s Three Choirs Festival opening service.

We took photos in our bible study group this morning and I handed round Celtic style cards with knot patterns on like the ones I have at times designed and fabricated into rugs, cushion covers and jumpers. I inscribed in each a Franciscan tau cross and Latin greeting and then appended my email address. Put together that says quite a lot about my spiritual wells. Yesterday a colleague had given each member a copy of the TEC Book of Common Prayer which brought back happy memories of when I used the rite to say matins each morning whilst staying with a Texan priest in Peru.

The indaba groups are moving from direct discussion of sexuality to matters of covenant. I guess there’s a general recognition that we’re not, in two or three weeks, going to build levels of agreement (or agreement to differ) the whole way, but there’s a sense of having made enormous progress in terms of mutual understanding, love and (dare I say it) trust in each other and each other’s integrity. Whilst nothing will satisfy Orombi and Akinola, nor the shady figures from North American behind them, there’s been good solid evidence on campus that archiepiscopal bullying has its limits and that there is a more representative voice of southern conservatism which will listen to those of its neighbours who have been at Lambeth and are able to share the seriousness with which we are working at our unity and respond to such visible signs of progress as can be signed off by Sunday night.

Highlight of the day: (actually last night at the Old Palace reception) yet more conversations with amazing people such as Sebastian Bakare of Harare and Cardinal Walter Kasper.

Lowlight of the day: Train struck a tree so we limped to the next station before being decamped onto the following stopper. Reached Charing Cross 30 minutes late to find Bakerloo line closed.

Last word: Thanks everyone for your comments.

Posted by David Walker on Friday, 1 August 2008 at 8:58pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Big Blue Tent | Lambeth Conference 2008

Thank you Bishop David for sharing Lambeth with us. You have witnessed to the vital importance of the many personal encounters that have shaped Lambeth for you, and evidently for many other participants.
Without betraying the confidentiality of the occasion, you've given us a glimpse into the process you've been sharing in. We don't need to be so impatient about the outcome, we understand better just why and how it will all take a long time to work out. Nothing is more important.
Has anybody missed the usual output of news releases, reactions and comments? Hasn't it been more entertaining to observe the hacks struggle, either to get news or create it?
It shows up the superficiality of all this instant media reaction stuff for what it's really worth.
What a good move it was for conference media managers to keep the media seagulls (and their scheming overlords) at bay.
A little citizen journalism has kept us sufficiently in the picture to reassure us that the true qualities of Anglican communion are as alive and well as ever - striving to live together with differences, regardless of the problems this raises for the insecure.
Long live citizen journalism !

Posted by: Keith Kimber on Friday, 1 August 2008 at 11:46pm BST

Not "the last word" but rather the final posting on this topic.

David is too creative and too alive for this to be his "last word"!

Thanks for giving a human face to the conference, and a hope there was a voice for those that have been disenfranchised within the jurisdiction of their local diocese.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Saturday, 2 August 2008 at 12:40pm BST

"Whilst nothing will satisfy Orombi and Akinola, nor the shady figures from North American behind them, ..."

This is heartening to read - recognition of the futility of trying to appease Orombi and Akinola etc., and even more important, recognition that they are being backed and used by North American manipulators [IRD and the like]. I hope other non-TEC bishops [and some TEC ones!] also were able to come to similar conclusions.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Saturday, 2 August 2008 at 1:53pm BST
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