Today was "Ordinary Day 10" You may note as we did that ordinary day 9 was left out, it was left out in our agenda as well. Don't know where 9 was, we can only hope that was not the day everything would have been revealed! In all seriousness, our good work goes on. I have to tell you this day was a good one. It began once again with Eucharist at 7:15 a.m. provided by The Church of Pakistan, breakfast, and then Bible Study, today on John 15: 1-17. We then went to our Indaba group where we continued our discussion of scripture and also recieved the third draft of the listening group who is diligent working on a response from us. Amazingly, with only a few minor changes, the whole group really appreciated and liked it! While nothing we put out will solve many of our problems, our relationships continue to build and we do continue to find common ground among one another. We then had a break and then another Indaba meeting. At this meeting we discussed the proposed covenant and especially the St. Andrew's Draft. Regardless of what you might have heard about the inevitability of such a document, there is far from overall agreement on this. However, the document has provided an excellent way to discuss our life together.
In the midst of our discussion today on the covenant and a possibility of one, I was reminded, and shared with my Indaba group, that incursions into dioceses by non-jurisdictional bishops have been going on since before the last Lambeth Conference. In fact, I remember being on a conference call with my then bishop, Bishop Larry Maze of Arkansas as he discussed with then Archbishop Carey the fact that the Bishop of Rwanda was coming into Arkansas and functioning without permission. Nothing was done then, and the AMiA grew out of this. This was long before the ordination of Gene Robinson as bishop. While this has been going on for some time, it will most likely continue, but I do believe progress has been made. Will it be enough for all? I doubt it, but quite frankly there is not enough we could do for some who have made up their mind. One of our 38 primates told the press even before the retreat was over and this conference had officially begun that the communion "was over." While we disagree about much, this kind of leadership will not lead us forward toward the counter cultural response Jesus calls us to.
In my Bible Study today one of our members told us the story of Ghandi, once given a New Testament. He read it all in short order and then entered a Christian church some weeks later. He walked out and commented that he saw no resemblance whatsoever in what he experienced that day and what he had read of Jesus in that book. The vast majority here are trying to remember that.
Tonight, evening worship was provided by the Church of the Province of South East Asia. Lively and good! Tonight I attended the Affirming Catholicism presentation which was excellent and well attended.
The press remains frustrated, so much so that many of them are making up stories, and misquoting as well. Read it if you must, but please don't believe it without some true research and inspection.
Blessings as you greet August,