Sunday, September 7, 2008

Transcript of the Bishops' Interview

Bishop Lane's and Bishop Knudsen's conversation in which they reflected on the Lambeth Conference lasted for about 30 minutes. Only excepts are presented in the videos below. To read a transcript of the entire conversation, click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back home, Maine bishops reflect on the Lambeth Conference

Ten days after returning from England and the once-every-ten-year gathering of Anglican bishops from across the world, Maine bishops, Chilton Knudsen and Stephen Lane, talk about what happened there and what's to come.

Bishop Chilton's Martin Luther place

Bishop Chilton Knudsen of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine on how the decisions of women to pursue their calling to ordination informs her perspectives on current issues of sexuality in the Church.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lambeth Last Day: the ups, the downs, and heading home

After more than 7,000 video views over the past 19 days, Bishop Stephen and Bishop Chilton offer their reflections on the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Keep both of them and Gretchen and Mike in your prayers as they return home tomorrow.

From Bishop Chilton
It's our last night at Canterbury, and I sense that we are all ready to go home. Bishop Steve and I will prepare some further reflections on the entire Lambeth experience to share with our diocesan community, AFTER we have had some rest.

Three items of note today

1. Members of my "indaba group" said farewell today. The group of about 40 bishops meets every day after our smaller (8 bishops) Bible Study groups. Ours has been a wonderful indaba group, honest about our differences, mutually supportive all they way.

2. The Melanesian Brothers (featured at the end of the video above) played music before our concluding plenary at 4 p.m. today (Sunday). The Melanesian Brothers are a monastic community, rooted in the West Pacific/Indian Ocean area, whose special vocation is peace-making. To symbolize their commitment, they go to places of violent conflict and make camp, pitching their tents between enemies. A number of them were slaughtered on such a mission, and we remembered them tonight at the closing Eucharist as their names were added to the "Saints and Martyrs of our Day" roll at Canterbury Cathedral.

3. The video below document the huge amount of our time queuing up for everything from buses to meals to entry into protected venues. The aggregate hours spent q'ing surely amount to more than a program day's length! We DO get to do some visiting whilst q'ing, and tonight I found the Lanes "in q" for the final service at the cathedral. They are with their neighbor (in Darwin Courts housing here), Bishop Linda Nicholls of Toronto.

I can hardly wait to set my feet on Maine soil. Thank you all, so much, for praying for us, for your email greetings and for being the holy people you are. God is so good to us.

Always in Christ,

Links of interest as the Lambeth Conference Concludes

The final text of a "reflections document," developed by 16 "listeners" selected from the Indaba groups at the 2008 Lambeth Conference is available here.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's concluding presidential address is available here.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's statement on Lambeth is available here.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sadness and Hope

I confess to feeling some sadness tonight. At Evening Prayer we said farewell to the music team that has led us for two and a half weeks. The worship and music remain for me among the real highlights of the Lambeth Conference. Day after day we were treated to new and exciting music, much of it very singable, which I hope to bring home to share. We also said farewell to the incredible variety of worship styles and languages that has characterized our daily worship: English, French, Arabic, Urdu, Swahili, Malaysian... our worship experience has been very, very rich.

We also began saying good bye to new friends and colleagues with whom we have engaged in very deep conversation. The very best part of this Lambeth for me has been learning about the cultures and ministries of the members of my Bible Study and Indaba group. I have learned about the passions and concerns of the Church in India, New Zealand, England, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Canada, Melanesia, and Sri Lanka. In every place there are faithful Christians, passionate about the Gospel, laboring to bring good news to the people, often at great personal sacrifice. I will miss their newly familiar faces.

I think, as my new friend, George, has said, the story line we've been given for this Lambeth is actually the wrong story line. The story line we've been given is that there are two sides locked in combat here at Lambeth. The two sides may be described as progressive or liberal and traditional or conservative, and they are said to extend throughout the Communion. But a truer narrative is that there a many "sides" and that in many places passionate Christians are proclaiming the Gospel. They may have opinions about the issues that divide us, but they are not focused on them and not willing to spend all their time talking about them. Attempts to resolve the conflict do not speak to their situations or their needs.

But the "two sides" story line is very strong, and the Lambeth reflection paper will reinforce it. There are many people who hope the existing moratoria will continue and that a Pastoral Forum will be established to deal with conflicts. And while some folk express deep skepticism about the need for and viability of a covenant, others hope work will go forward. The good news hidden in these matters is the now nearly universal recognition that nothing will work unless ways can be found to continue in genuine conversation. Good relationships are the key to resolving conflicts.

For now, there have been no legislative changes. The reflection paper is advisory and the matters raised will need to be addressed by the Synods or Conventions of each Province. The Covenant process may well go through several more iterations before Provinces will be asked to decide. And in several Provinces, constitutional and canonical issues will further slow consideration. So numerous opportunities for conversation lie before us.

In the meantime, I think we've been inspired to reinvigorate our ministries, especially those related to the poor, the voiceless, and the oppressed. The Good News of Jesus Christ needs to be proclaimed now more than ever, and sometimes, as St. Francis said, with words. Sharing in those ministries is another way we can strengthen our relationships.

I want to thank all of you for your prayers, for your interest, for your comments. We have felt uplifted and supported across all these miles. We are eager to see you and be home again among you.

A final post tomorrow night.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Walking from Canterbury and thoughts on Day 17

Two Canterbury pilgrims, Bishop Stephen and Gretchen Lane, lead us from the City Centre to the University of Kent.

Bishop Stephen reflects on how the bishops at the Lambeth Conference seek to celebrate that which unites them...and all of us as Anglicans.

Our blogging bishops

Bishop Chilton and Bishop Steve catch Diocese of Michigan's newspaper editor Herb Gunn in their sights. Thanks for the photos, Herb!