Our first assignments in two sessions today had to do with the ministry of bishops and Anglican identity. We have an "animateur" (a bishop) to facilitate every Indaba group, and we also have a "reporteur" (not a bishop) to record the discussions of the group. Both roles were handled adeptly, and they were both obviously well prepped for the work given them. The product our group arrived at on these two issues will then be collated with the reports of all the other groups, the point being to look for those places of agreement. Representatives writers from every group will then work together, with these reports before them, to prepare a draft statement, which will then go to the whole Conference. God willing, we will have a mind-of-the-Conference position at the end of the work.
Then tonight, in a plenary session, we heard Brian McLaren's presentation on the dynamics of making disciples in a rapidly changing world. His point, not a new one but one which he convincingly presented, is that the ways of the modern world, to which the Church for five hundred years has accommodated (or over-accommodated) are losing their currency. He also suggested that in the three basic cultures in place in the current world--non-modern, modern, and whatever it is that you want to call the one after that--the Church has yet to find a voice. He pointedly challenged this Conference to work in finding one, saying that the Anglican way has within it distinct gifts to do so. The coexistence of the three cultures, he also said, has in it the makings of many of the conflicts in a world-wide communion like ours. A long evening well spent.