Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lambeth...

Far be it from me to get involved in the kind of things that excite journalists about the Lambeth Conference. I just thought I'd share some comments from Brian McLaren which I read on the Church Times blog:

I know that most people think the "news story" here is about divisive controversies over sexuality, but my sense is that the real news story is very different. There is a humble spirit here, a loving atmosphere, a deep spirituality centred in Bible study, worship, and prayer, and a strong desire to move beyond internal-institutional matters to substantive mission in our needy world.

In every conversation and gathering I've participated in, the spirit has been kind and holy and positive. That sort of good news doesn't attract the media the way a salacious or pugilistic story does... It will be interesting to see whether the press reports what is actually happening here, or if they need to rewrite the narrative to fit the shape of war-tales they are more accustomed to telling.

My sense is that the quiet, prayerful, and humble patience of Archbishop Rowan Williams is leading the way to better days for the Anglican Communion. It feels like the bishops gathered here are turning a corner together. I feel that I'm witnessing the emergence of something good, beautiful, true, and blessed... Hearts here are sincerely open to the Spirit of God.

I think we all need to keep comments like this in mind when we think, and even more when we pray, about Lambeth, and about the Anglican Communion. Despite (because of? (Romans 8.28)) previous controversies - the Charismatic Movement (not, of course, at all confined to Anglicanism, but causing tremendous waves) the Oxford Movement, Methodism - the Anglican churches have grown in God, and in godliness, and grace. "Give thanks, with a grateful heart" for our church, and for our bishops gathered at Lambeth...

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