Wayne Smith's occasional blog of pilgrimages and journeys

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday, July 23. Late afternoon.

The more I encounter the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, the more I am made aware of differences-- and aware of what appears to be God's great delight in diversity. We so easily misunderstand one another, from the vastly worlds we inhabit, though I must admit that I am still recoiling from the shock of yesterday's events. I am beginning to understand that they came from the fact of those different worlds we inhabit. Jim Naughton has had the advantage of being out and about, not cooped up in meetings (in rooms with all the air circulation of Apollo XIII), and you will find his good summary of the Sudanese matter here. There is still much work to do, in conversation with our Sudanese colleagues, but now twenty-four hours after the news release and news conference, having productive conversation at least seems possible.

I will admit to some emotional exhaustion, over the past day. Worry about Sudan, worry about Episcopalians back in Missouri, but no real worry at this point about the broader issues of communion. Or perhaps I should say that I am not anxious about these issues, remaining cautiously hopeful about finding a way, some way, any way forward. Somehow the larger Anglican world can by the grace of God find a means, perhaps some brand new, yet unthought-of means, to remain connected to one another. I could be wrong, but I think that can prove the case. Enough about this, until more becomes clear, in due time.

Indaba group yesterday was chaotic and frustrating, but most of that was because of an incomprehensible process that the planners had put before us. Indaba goup today was much better, after some overnight tweaking by the group leaders, along with the planners.

Bible study, on the other hand, is consistently very good, taking us to deep places through the direction of the scriptures before us, and doing that rather quickly. We have been at this not quite a week, and yet here we are, already at a place of mutual vulnerability and concern for one another. What a riches and surpirse scripture holds for us.

I just now returned to my room from a self-select group (workshop, we would say in American English) on "Human Sexuality and the Witness of Scripture," led by Richard Burridge, a Biblical scholar and Dean of Kings College, London, assisted by Philip Groves, coordinator of the listening process on sexuality for the Anglican Communion, and by John Holder, Bishop of Barbados and also a Biblical scholar by training. This was the first part of a two-part precis of The Anglican Communion and Homosexuality (London: SPCK, 2008), published just in time for the Lambeth Conference. It was a surprisingly diverse crowd packed into the room. And the presentation was excellent, leaving me to look forward to the next installment.

Tomorrow to London, with the Walk of Witness, and the two palaces Lambeth and Buckingham. We return to Canterbury late in the day, so I may not post again until Friday.


Lisa Fox said...

Thank you for this. I am glad you are able to continue blogging. And grateful to hear that (aside from Sudan) there are some good things to report.

Now for a little humor: Do you know what's an anagram for "Damnable Habit"? "Lambeth Indaba." Nonetheless, let's hope your indaba turns into a great blessing.

Lisa Fox said...

P.S. I hope you packed a lovely hat for meeting the Queen! ;-)
But seriously, I hope you have a whale of a good time tomorrow.