Wayne Smith's occasional blog of pilgrimages and journeys

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday, July 7. Sudan Partners Conference Begins.

I had wondered why the Conference was slated for the Salisbury Methodist Church instead of the Cathedral, until I learned that the Cathedral has no programmatic space. There is the nave, several chapels, and the chapter room. But there are no Sunday-school rooms, no conference rooms, no parish hall or even an undercroft. So the Cathedral community is accustomed to meeting off-site. Center-city Salisbury is very compact, and they tell me that everything is an easy ten-minute walk. True enough in theory, but that does not take into account my ability to get lost. Street names change, often block-by-block, and Google Maps is less helpful than one might think in cities laid out on a medieval grid.

The meeting convened at this historic Methodist Church, with early connections to John Wesley and where Samuel Asbury served as rector, prior to his departure to North America in 1771 at Wesley's invitation. All but two of the Sudanese bishops are present, with the other two to arrive in course. Four bishops from the Episcopal Church are here, Cate Waynick (Indianapolis), Neff Powell (Southern Virginia), Rob O'Neill (Colorado), and myself. Bishop Bullen is here, and he looks tired but otherwise well. He asked me to convey his greetings to everyone in Missouri, which I am glad to do.

The evening was rather casual, allowing time for conversation and catching up. Salisbury gave a brief but impressive multi-media presentation, a copy of which I would like to get my hands on. We ate finger-food and had drinks (juices, of course) for dinner. An early evening, and then back to my hotel.


Lydia said...

I hope you have a wonderful time on your pilgrimage towards Canterbury. Glad you have this way to share your thoughts and experiences.

djhandschy said...


Say hello to Bullen for all of us.


Lisa Fox said...

I am so glad you are there! and that this meeting is transpiring.

Please give my regards to +Bullen.

And I hope you find your way about ... and that you have sufficient food and beverage.

Fervent prayers to you and the rest of the group. You know you have them.