Wayne Smith's occasional blog of pilgrimages and journeys

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday, July 27. In Marden Parish.

But first a word about yesterday, which was busy enough to keep me from blogging after returning to my room about 10:00 p.m. Bible Study continues to grow in its fruits, as was certainly the case with yesterday's engagement with the whole of John 9 (A Man Born Blind Receives his Sight). And my Indaba appears to be one of the few without hiccups, engaging the process without much anguish. Yesterday's session dealt with the Bishops and the Environment, as well as possible Anglican responses to the ecological crisis facing our world.

Then in early afternoon came the official Lambeth photograph, an exercise in patience, on the bishops' part, and organization and artistry, on the photographers' part. If you follow the links, you will find me toward the bottom on the right. First locat a bishop in a green stole on the second row, right side, and move one up and four over; you will find me there. Otherwise, it is like looking for Waldo.

Late afternoon, Presiding Bishop Katharine hosted a reception for TEC bishops to greet bishops from Sudan, Congo, and Liberia, with a fair turnout on a busy day. Evening Prayer was led by TEC and featured the Bishops' Choir, who presented our Province in a good light. Theirs is an uplifting voice. Then Trinity Church, Wall Street, hosted an evening for renewing relationships from the Walk to Emmaus Conference held last summer near Madrid. This was an international consultation of fifty-eight TEC and African bishops (with a scattering of bishops from elsewhere) for purposes of deepening relationships and collaborating for mission. Both Bishop Bullen and I were in Spain, and he and I were at table together last night.

I had chosen not simply to go to the Eucharist at Cathedral, the path of least resistance, but I had instead offered myself to one of the parish Churches in the Canterbury Diocese. Marden Parish and I were paired, and I spent most of the day there, first preaching and presiding at the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist and then enjoying a leisurely lunch at the Vicarage. The service was one increasingly familiar to me, taken as it was from Common Worship, the texts of which are similar to TEC's Rite II. The ceremonial style was rather simpler than that in most of the parishes in Missouri, but it felt familiar enough to be to put me at ease. There were about seventy-five in worship, and I received a gracious reception from everyone there.

I will admit to you that this afternoon I am chosing not to attend the Civic Reception for the Lambeth Conference, hosted by the City of Canterbury. Given the pace of the Conference, there are moments when I simply have to say, Enough! This is one of them.

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