Friday, 18 July 2008

Lambeth, July 18th

Dear Ones,

Our second full day was once again held in retreat. It began with Eucharist at 7:15 a.m. with breakfast following. After breakfast we held our daily Bible Study. Today we studied John 1: 19-34, "Make straight the way of the Lord." We had an excellent discussion. This room is filled with people from around the world with many different experiences and perspectives. One bishop reminded us of what Coleridge once said, "He who loves Christianity more than truth, goes on to love his Church more than Christianity, then goes on to love his own sect more than his own Church, then goes on to love himself most of all." It was a good and humble reminder.

We then once again traveled to the Cathedral where we heard two excellent meditations by the Archbishop with time for reflection. Bishop Councell of New Jersey said it best in his blog today,

"There is something awesome about being in that Cathedral space with 650 bishops, with the Archbishop of Canterbury teaching us, directing us through his meditation. They were wonderfully insightful, spiritually very deep and profound. He began his third address on the role of the bishop as both friend and stranger. A bishop is at home among the people and yet stands apart. A bishop speaks the language of the people, but speaks the word of God.

After each of his meditations there was time to visit the various chapels of the cathedral, or to walk around the precincts. It was an immense privilege to have that space for the benefit of the bishops alone for these two days.

The fourth address began by quoting an early Christian theologian who said, a single Christian is no Christian. Our need as bishops is to be in council with other bishops. We’re called to live in community and to live in communion.

The very challenging suggestion the Archbishop made was to identify one other bishop about whom one feels nervous, and ask that person to pray with you. It was a very powerful challenge to us to work to restore wounded communion.

He also said the Gospel is only truthfully spread by those who are in communion."

We ended the day with rest and relaxation. Tomorrow we begin again. You remain in my prayers.



1 comment:

  1. Dear Bishop Greg,
    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and observations. They make Lambeth "real," accessible and vivid for me. I was very struck by the quotation from Coleridge; also by the challenge to seek out someone who is outside your comfort zone. That's a tough one. Blessings and thanks to you for being our Bishop, and for all your work.
    Carol T, St Paul's Mt Vernon