Monday, July 28, 2008

Lambeth Blog #5

Another post from Bishop Catherine in Lambeth

Please do forward on to friends, family, parish family....Thank you!

Lambeth Blog #5
July 23, 2008
Just a brief blog tonight, as the hour is late.

Some of us hit a bit of a wall today with sheer fatigue. The pace has been relentless and the walking distances back and forth and around the campus very long. Someone told me that the buildings and campus lay out were a response to student unrest in the sixties, the point being to design a campus which would make demonstrations difficult. I don't know if that is true, but it certainly could be. The campus is assymmetricaI and some of the buildings themselves have been compared to rabbit warrens. It is often hard to know which is the direct route to a particular building, campus maps notwithstanding.

Fortunately, most of this afternoon's offerings will be repeated, so I noticed quite a number of us took some down time for an hour or two to take a nap or do some laundry or just to have some quiet time.

In this morning's bible study we read John 8:1-20, the story of the woman taken in adultery. This is the second bible study on chapters in which a woman takes center stage, the other being the Samaritan woman at the well, which is quite unusual for gatherings such as these. The focus of our group was on God's mercy and Jesus's lack of condemnation. Repentence and amendment of life are more apt to come from understanding God's love and mercy than they are from accusation and blame.

Our indaba was a bit rocky this morning.. Our topic was The Transforming Society--the Bishop and Social Justice, a subject we all warmed to. We were shown a short video in which Hellen Wangusa, our Anglican Observer at the U.N. spoke about the Millennium Devleopment Goals. The difficulty came afterward,when a number of us expressed concern that the indabas are now too organized to allow for in depth discussions, which is precisely what indabas are meant to allow for! I expect the leadership is going to make some adjustments.

Supporting the MDG's from a Christian standpoint cannot simply be about good works or charity. Even working for justice does not entirely cover it. Sharing wealth and resources is the inbreaking of God's realm, Mountains of wealth and resources are lowered and the valleys of poverty are raised so that the path may be made straight for the coming of the Lord. Therefore, those who give are need of those who receive, because it is only working together that the roadway can be leveled.

This evening Province I of the Episcopal Church gave the first of two receptions and presentations for Bishop Gene Robinson to meet bishops and spouses from around the Communion who might wish to get to know him. It was well attended and I believe went a long way in fostering understanding and charity towards one another.

Tomorrow we go to London to take the Walk of Witness in support of the Millennium Development Goals. We will then go to Lambeth Palace and after that to Buckingham Palace. (A bit ironic as to the combination of events, but that is the schedule.) It will be a very different sort of day, which I look forward to writing to you when we return to Canterbury.

Many blessings!


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