Saturday, 26 July 2008
Lambeth, July 26th
Today was Ordinary Day 5. We opened with Eucharist by the Province of Australia. The theme for the day was the Bishop and the Environment. I have really been excited about this day. The Rev. George Browning, Bishop of Canberra preached. He is also the Chair of the Anglican Global Environmental Network. Breakfast, Bible Study on John 9: 1-41. Tea, then Indaba group. Our group today took up the discussion of the proposed covenant. It is clear we do not all see eye to eye on it, but in my group I found much more concern about its introduction than a clamoring of support for it. We will be sorting out more about this as the next week goes on, but the Archbishop has made it clear repeatedly that this will not be decided at this event, but will come, if at all, some time later.
My afternoon was a busy one. I worked with two other bishops on a document that needed some work, and then collected my rochet and chimere for our group picture. You might imagine trying to get almost 700 bishops in one photo. It was an amazing sight. The spouses had their picture taken earlier, and at 2 p.m. was the bishop's slot. It took about 40 minutes to get us in place and about 10 to take pictures. The press was then allowed to take photos of us, and then we were carefully brought down from the risers built for this occassion. You can look at the Lambeth website to see all of this, but I have placed a picture above too. I have also put a picture of a breakout small group within an Indaba group, as well as a few other shots. The Lambeth site again is www.lambethconference.org.
Immediately following the picture I had to quickly move to the media center as I was one of the media responders today along with Bishop Thomas Ely of Vermont. If you have a desire to see that report you can go to Episcopal News Service and look under "multimedia."
Then I reported to the Big Top and to Dent Davidson, as it was the Episcopal Church's night to offer evening prayer. Our House of Bishops choir sang and for those who attended I think it was a hit. Nedi and I both sing in this choir, and if you look closely you will also note Jeff and Lisa Lee, so a big Olympia contingent in this!
Then, finally, a nice dinner and time to share with others. Tomorrow will be a slow day, which I desperately need. This is full, and long, and tiring. However, I feel so blessed to be here and I am learning so very much. I end tonight with the text of the last song we sang tonight. You will not hear the tune, which is beautiful, but the words are the prayer for this next week and for this conference. The hymn is by Michael Hudson and Marilyn Haskel and it is entitled "Let the Broken ones be healed."
Let the broken ones be healed, let the lost be found and fed.
Let the grace of God roll on, roll on.
Let the river rise and spread. Step into the stream with me.
Let God's gracious purpose be. Let God's gracious purpose be.