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!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bishop Chilton on the miracle of Pentecost

Each of us bishops was, on registration, assigned to a Bible Study Group. We meet every day for 90 minutes to study portions of the Gospel of John. Some of you in Maine are studying and praying with that Gospel along with us here at Lambeth, using the study book I gave to all the clergy at our June Clergy Day.

Thank you so much for praying along with us! We have achieved a strong level of trust in our group and the sharing is candid and warm. I will miss these brothers when Lambeth is over, but I bet we will stay in touch. I'm still connected to some brother bishops around the globe from my '98 Lambeth Bible Study group.

I'm continually reminded that we are a GLOBAL family in the Anglican Communion. This means that we must make a special effort to communicate across differences of culture and language. The earphones and transmitter are in my tote bag for every Lambeth event. God bless the translation team; they have been patient and skillful.

Our conversations together from now until the end of the conference are increasingly delicate and important. Our challenge is to hear one another, even when that is hard going. So far, we are receiving the Holy Spirit's gift of hearing one another (see the miracle of Pentecost!). Bless you all for your prayers. We feel them and appreciate your support.

Love to you all in Christ, +CHILTON

A Small Explosion

As the end of the Lambeth Conference approaches, anxieties are rising and there are more and more frequent expressions of concern that Lambeth isn't going to do anything. Many folks are saying that Lambeth needs to say something robust or definitive.

This morning there was a small explosion in my Indaba group. What exploded was widespread frustration that all the talk about our disagreements distracts from mission and undermines the Communion's credibility. The real issues, the real priorities of the Anglican Communion, need to be poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS, the oppression of women and children, the oppression of the Dalits in India, war, refugees, care for creation, etc. (Indeed, if there is a consensus at this Lambeth it is that global warming is the most important matter facing humankind and that care for creation must be a first priority for the Church.) Most of the members of my group shared in some part of this frustration.

Like most explosions , however, this one was unfocused and it soon spread into chastising the Episcopal Church for creating all the disagreement in the Anglican Communion and keeping it going. The Episcopal Church was repeatedly charged with not responding to the Windsor process. The actions of our General Convention 2006 in responding to Windsor are not well known and are often received as new information.

The Episcopal bishops in my Indaba received this critique in respectful silence, without defensiveness, and responses actually came from other churches. The gist of the responses was that all of us are shaped in our ministries by the people and culture of our communities. Each of us is struggling to be faithful as God has given us the light. So there were voices of support, but it was a long session.

At hearings and other meetings today, there were calls to reaffirm Lambeth 1:10 or to state that the Windsor moratoria must continue. The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that there will be no voting or legislation. Rather the work of the Indaba groups will be drawn into a final statement that will be refined by an ongoing process of review in our groups and in hearings. Other processes, such as the Windsor Continuation process and the Anglican Covenant process will continue beyond this meeting. For me, the best part of this Lambeth has been the frank, respectful, and sometimes profound conversations of the Bible Study and Indaba groups. I hope we'll find ways to continue these conversations without forcing a decision now.

For all this, the work of building relationships continues. And daily worship refreshes and strengthens. Tonight the Church of Aoroatea, New Zealand and Polynesia led us in Night Prayer according to the New Zealand Prayerbook. The words and hymns fell like healing rain on a tired congregation of bishops and spouses.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Difficult Conversations

I'm just back from the reception that several bishops of Province I hosted to introduce the Bishop of New Hampshire. About 20 bishops from around the church, including several from England, Australia, Latin America and India, attended. The reception began with hors d'ouvres in an outdoor courtyard. The program moved indoors for a brief presentation by three bishops about the process of electing, confirming and consecrating bishops in the Episcopal Church. Then two bishops spoke about why they voted for and against Bishop Robinson's consecration. There followed a brief DVD introduction by the Diocese of New Hampshire, and then Gene spoke. After his talk, people asked questions or made statements. Bishop Robinson was his usual warm, passionate and articulate self. Two of our guests spoke about how difficult this matter is in their context, and Gene empathized with their concerns and shared their hopes. The gathering ended with prayer.

Both my Bible Study and Indaba group began to have more searching conversations today. It's taken us two weeks to get to the point where there is sufficient trust to talk frankly. There is a great deal of misunderstanding about decision-making in the Episcopal Church. People expressed anger that the Episcopal Church has not respected decisions of the 1998 Lambeth Conference and has forced the whole Communion to deal with our issues. It is hard to convey that it's not only our process that's democratic, but our culture as well. Matters of sexual orientation are on the table because gay and lesbian persons are baptized members of the church and, in our church, every member has a voice. For us it's not an "issue," it's people - faithful members of the body of Christ and leaders of our congregations. We are trying to keep faith with people in our own church. Yet in this era of instant communication, people far away suddenly feel drawn into the conversation.

The good news in these difficult conversations is that we may all be learning that the context for our ministries is crucial. Quite frankly, in a number of places issues of sexual orientation have no traction and will not be discussed. In those places, issues of hunger, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, relations with other religions, and the education of women and children occupy the agenda. Yet I think folks are hearing that in our context issues of sexual orientation are matters of membership and justice. The hope is that we can find room for one another and the capacity to remain in relationship as try to reach a common mind.


+Gene and +Steve - who served together as Canons to the Ordinary in the Dioceses of New Hampshire and Rochester prior to their elections - share a light moment before +Steve's consecration in Maine on May 3, 2008.
(photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A packed 24 hours with Bishop Stephen Lane

Bishop Stephen's video reflection on the many doings of the 14th day of the Lambeth Conference.

Seventy-two hours with Bishop Chilton

Sunday I was "fetched" early and driven from Canterbury to Guildford (about 20 miles south of London) to preach at the Cathedral there. What a hospitable welcome they extended! One of the gifts presented was (unbeknownst to them) a book I have long wanted to own: LOVE'S REDEEMING WORK: THE ANGLICAN QUEST FOR HOLINESS (Oxford, 2003). It's a thick collection of writings of Anglican mystics and theologians from the late 15th century onwards to the present. It's on my "retirement reading" pile!

After returning from Guildford in the afternoon, the rest of Sunday was quiet: doing the laundry, reading/preparation for the upcoming week, answering some email. The pace of this Lambeth Conference is grueling and the quieter time was a blessing.

Monday, a typical Lambeth day: Out of bed 6:00 AM, showering in the "pocket" shower attached to my room (I'm fortunate: some of my colleagues share one shower with 10 other people!). Walk to the worship center (20 minute walk from our housing) for Eucharist, celebrated by bishops of the Province of the Indian Ocean. Then breakfast followed by 90 minute Bible Study (many of you are following along with our study -- so you know it was John 10: 1- 10 today).

My Bible Study group includes two bishops from the Sudan, one bishop fromTanzania, one bishop from Japan, two bishops from Jamaica/the Caymans, one bishop from Scotland and two of us from the Episcopal Church. The trust and depth of sharing in our group continues to deepen. After Bible Study was our Indaba group (a larger group of approx 40), which it's my job to facilitate. We work very hard discussing the topic of interfaith relations. Many stories about the tensions between Christians and Muslims, especially from the Sudan. I felt humble as I heard the stories of persecution and martyrdom. Monday afternoon we reviewed the latest report from the Windsor Continuation Group, and offered our feedback (from a rich variety of perspectives). Monday evening, a lovely dinner for all woman bishops in the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral with leaders of WATCH (Women and the Church), a British group advocating for the ministries of all women, lay and ordained.

Tuesday brought a different morning format with a lengthy plenary, as bishops and spouses met together to talk about Power and the Abuse of Power. It was well-done, with a combination of drama, group discussions and Bible Study. Following the afternoon meeting of our own Episcopal Church bishops, Evening Prayer was offered by the Church of Myanmar. They showed videos of the relief work Myanmar Anglicans have been doing following the cyclone. Let us hold them all in special prayer. We in Maine are blessed that one of Maine's own, The Rev. Kitty Babson, is an appointed missionary to Myanmar (she would love to come to your church and offer a program).

After dinner in Canterbury at a middle-eastern restaurant with my "class" of 1998, I am at my desk, sending you love and prayers. Keep your prayers flowing: the next few days may bring some particularly difficult discussions forward. I can't tell you how important it is to know of your prayers and support. Bless you all.

Sending love in Christ,

Monday, July 28, 2008


Of the approximately 670 bishops present here, there are about 145 Episcopalians. (Only two or three active Episcopal bishops are not here.) That means that Episcopal bishops make up about 22% of the bishops. In every group and every place I go, I have colleagues from the Episcopal Church.

We're all here because we were encouraged by the Presiding Bishop and others to come, to listen to the wider church, and to tell our story. And I think we're trying to do that. Episcopal bishops show up in large numbers for the hearings, for the self-select groups, for worship and for plenary gatherings.

But our relatively large number is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that we are taking part in all the opportunities for dialogue. Whether in formal settings or the many informal opportunities, Episcopal bishops are present. The story of the Episcopal Church is being told.

The curse is that we are also being accused by some of dominating the Conference. And domination by Americans is something much of the world is unhappy about.

So we're walking a bit of a tight rope - trying to be present and attentive, but also leaving room for others to speak. We really want to make it clear that we are a part of the Anglican Communion, partners with the other Provinces in sharing Christ's ministry to the world.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday at Lambeth: the big bishop photo shoot and our Mainers lift their voices in song

Six hundred and seventy bishops from across the Anglican Communion got their picture made on Saturday. Our bishops were there to tell the story.

The Diocese of Maine is well-represented in the Episcopal Church's Bishops and Spouses Choir with Mike Knudsen, Bishop Stephen and Gretchen Lane as members. Bishop Chilton is the flipographer. Worship services at Lambeth have been organized by various provinces and on Saturday the service of Evensong was conducted by the Episcopal Church.

A Little Respite

The pace of the last two days has been a bit more relaxed. Saturday, after Bible Study and Indaba groups, the Bishops had their Lambeth picture taken. It was quite an exercise on a hot, humid, but mercifully cloudy, day. It took about 45 minutes to get all 670 of us on very tall, narrow risers and another 15 minutes to take our pictures. Then we carefully exited the risers, one narrow section at a time. Thankfully, there were no accidents. (We have a little bit of video from the picture taking that will be posted soon.)

Following the picture taking, the Episcopal Church hosted a reception for bishops from the Church of the Sudan and the Congo. There was a good turnout and good conversation in many small groups. The Presiding Bishop, the Archbishop of Sudan and several other bishops briefly greeted the gathering.

Saturday afternoon the Episcopal Church led Evening Prayer. The bulletin was printed in three languages - English, Spanish and French - to indicate the three primary languages of the Episcopal Church. Donna Scaife signed the service in ASL. Bishop Gayle Harris presided. The Bishop and Spouses choir sang several pieces before and after the service to the great delight of the congregation. Gretchen and I and Mike Knudsen all sang in the choir and, despite only a very brief time for rehearsals, I think we did well. (We'll also post a little video of the service.)

The evening was given over to various "fringe" events. "Fringe" in an English context means associated, not "official," events. Gretchen and I went to Canterbury Cathedral for a candlelit tour and Compline.

Today, Sunday, was a complete Sabbath from the Conference. Many bishops preached around England. Bishop Chilton preached today in Guilford. The rest of us went to various services around Canterbury, especially at Canterbury Cathedral. And time was given over to sight seeing, walking, going to pubs and restaurants for meals, doing the laundry, etc., etc.

Tomorrow the schedule resumes in earnest with Indaba discussions about the proposed Anglican Covenant and an afternoon hearing on the Windsor Continuation process.

The highlight for me, of the last few days, has been the close attention paid to the role of the Church in relation to Climate Change. There was a major presentation on climate change Friday night and then discussion in the Indaba groups on Saturday. There are a number of self-select study sessions concerning aspects of climate change throughout the Conference. It's very clear that climate change is affecting everyone, everywhere. The impact is greatest in poor countries. The Church has a theology of the stewardship of creation that give us a platform from which to speak to the issue, and as churches in both rich and poor countries, we have important things to say both as contributors to the crisis and victims. Care for creation is one of the Millennium Development Goals. Expect the Anglican bishops to come home ready to speak "green."

Blessings on your sabbath...


Friday, July 25, 2008

Bishops and spouses walk to raise awareness for the MDGs

Bishop Knudsen introduces a video about yesterday's walk in London to raise awareness about the Millennium Development Goals to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

Complex Relationships

Recently the Church of the Sudan issued a strong statement about its understandings of homosexuality and Christian faith. In that statement, it suggested that the Bishop of New Hampshire should resign for the benefit of the whole Anglican Communion. At the same time, the Sudanese are being very clear they want their companion relationships with several dioceses of the Episcopal Church to continue. Some folks have wondered how these two realities can be held together.

It's important to say here that nothing new has been said about the issue of homosexuality either by the Church of the Sudan or by the Lambeth Conference. The position of the Church of the Sudan is one it has stated before. And the Lambeth Conference has yet to issue any statements on any matters.

It's also the case that the Lambeth Conference has asked us to engage one another honestly about the issues and to do so frankly and directly. In its statement, the Church of the Sudan has been clear about its position.

The Lambeth Conference has further asked us to consider the ways we can disagree and remain in relationship. The Church of the Sudan is clear that it wants to remain in relationship with the Episcopal Church and wants to find ways for us to work together. Today a number of bishops from the Episcopal Church and the Church of the Sudan met together to affirm their companion relationships. And tomorrow the Episcopal Church will host a reception for Sudan and the Congo to foster further relationships.

We in the Episcopal Church remain fully committed to our decision-making processes and to the ministries of our all gay and lesbian members. We, too, are looking for ways to connect with others around the world. This past Wednesday some of the bishops of Province I hosted a reception where bishops and spouses could learn about Episcopal Church polity and meet the Bishop of New Hampshire. The reception was well attended and well received, and we have heard how helpful it was for those who attended.

So our relationships with other Anglican churches are complex. The important thing is to be ourselves with integrity and to keep talking. The conversations continue with the Church of the Sudan and with many other churches around the Communion.


Day Nine in London

Here is Bishop Stephen's video reflection on the bishops' day in London walking to raise awareness for the Millennium Development Goals, lunch at Lambeth Palace, and onto tea at Buckingham Palace.

We'll post a video of the MDG walk later today - once Bishop Chilton gets her camera back from the overzealous security forces at Buckingham Palace.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day Eight:: in the lee of Canterbury Cathedral

Bishop Stephen offers this video reflection on Day Eight of the Lambeth Conference.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day Seven: more lightning in the arm than thunder in the mouth

Bishop Stephen's video reflection on Day Seven of the Lambeth Conference.

Also, we're pleased to report that the bishops' videos were picked up in two separate stories today on the Episcopal Cafe's news blog, The Lead.

But who's counting.

On the seventh day, Bishop Chilton rested (a little)

Very Dear Mainers,

If you promise not to tell anyone, I'll confess that today (Tuesday 7/22), I skipped the daily 7:15 AM Eucharist and slept in. Mike and I are staying in the Park Wood residences, a good 20 minute walk to the main campus. The past few days have been filled with dashing back and forth, and it all got to be too hectic. So, I decided to catch up on my rest. I woke up in time to get to main campus for a fast croissant and coffee before my Bible Study Group began at 9:15 AM.

Our Bible study today covered Jesus' wondrous "Bread of Life" discourse in John 6:1 -14 and 25 - 59. My group of 8 (from every corner of the Anglican Communion, from Japan to Sudan to Tanzania to Aberdeen to Jamaica to Dallas...) reached a very deep level of sharing from our hearts as we talked about Christ's presence when we stand at the altar to celebrate the Eucharist. We all took special note of the hands which are extended across the altar rail to receive the Bread of Life -- we told each other about tiny hands, callused hands, arthritic hands, earth-stained hands, finger-missing hands (quite common in Maine: the too-frequent result of lumbering/milling accidents) and trembling hands. I was delighted to learn that all the bishops in my group support the receiving of communion by our children. We differ a bit as to how much/what kind of First Communion preparation is appropriate, but we are all clear about offering the Body and Blood of Christ to people of all ages.

Our Bible Study groups are folllowed by tea (that sturdy English custom I spoke of in an earlier post) and then by our Indaba Groups. Great things happened today in the Indaba Group which I am facilitating (the term for an Indaba Group facilitator is "animateur", roughly translatable as "animator", which denotes -- rightly -- a rather full job description). Members of the group were quite outspoken about wanting MORE TIME to just "tell each other our stories". They were feeling too "regimented" by the Indaba process and its rather structured format. What a huge blessing: bishops who want to be free to just talk to each other without time limits or "next activities"! Bishops wanting more time to share with one another from their hearts! God is so good.

Yes, we are beginning to identify the tensions amongst us; nothing is being swept under the carpet. We have some very hard work to do. But there is a good, faithful and loving feeling amongst the bishops so far. Your prayers are helping us and we count on those prayers as we move forward.

My love and prayers to you all "back home", in Christ,

The bishops explain the whole Indaba Group thing

Bishop Stephen and Bishop Chilton share with us the Indaba Group discussion format that will be a daily part of their work during the rest of the Lambeth Conference.

In this video Bishop Chilton also reminds Maine congregations about Thursday's Walk for Witness to raise awareness for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops will walk at 10 a.m. (GMT) - that's 5 a.m. for us.

If your congregation is walking or gathering in support of the bishops and the MDGs, please consider capturing it on video and we will post it here. (Even if you have a simple movie feature on your digital camera, email the file to Heidi Shott and we will make it work.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day Six: Singing in harmony but each in with our own voice

Bishop Stephen gives us a look at the resources the bishops are using and his reflection on Day Six of the Lambeth Conference.

Thanks to Deacon Lynne Rutledge of Christ Church, Eastport, for reminding us that high speed internet is not ubiquitous in the distant corners of Maine. For anyone on dial up who is having a bit of trouble streaming the videos on the blog, please visit here and let us know if it works better for you.

We aim to please!

Thank you

Dear Friends in Christ,

There have been over 2,200 visits to our blog in the last six days. Thank you so much for your interest and support. Your participation encourages us to keep at it. We also appreciate your comments. Please don't hesitate to express your opinion or ask a question.

And thank you for your prayers. Every day brings so much that is new and challenging. Your prayers help us to stay open to the activity of God's spirit as we are confronted by the experiences and perspectives of bishops from every place.

God's peace,
Bishop Stephen and Gretchen in the dining hall. Photo by the Rt. Rev. Prince Singh, newly consecrated bishop in the Diocese of Rochester.

Prophetic voice for justice is the Church's highest calling

Bishop Stephen's video reflection on today's Opening Eucharist at the Lambeth Conference.

(We're trying to spice up the video with more background footage but the video editing software's learning curve is steep and the hour is late. Please stay with us!)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lambeth spouses talk of "living a baptized life"

Gretchen Lane, wife of Bishop Stephen, gives us a glimpse into the Lambeth Spouses Conference.

Opening Eucharist at Canterbury

Sunday evening 20th July

I wish I could take you all with me into the vast sacred space of Canterbury Cathedral, truly the "mother church" of the Anglican Communion. After our quiet days of retreat here with the Archbishop of Canterbury leading our meditations, and the cathedral all to ourselves, it was a different place entirely at the official Lambeth Conference Eucharist this morning. Every corner of the cathedral was pressed into service; as one of the cheery vergers said, "must be topping up over 4000 here t'day". Bishops in red and white, spouses (many in the brilliant colors of national dress), ecumenical guests, local and national dignitaries (both lay and ordained), choirs and musicians, press and media...voices raised in song and prayer. When a huge chorus of voices are upheld by pipe organ and brass, in a space acoustically designed for worship, you don't just hear music normally, your whole body is one huge ear.

Imagine this vast cathedral, a place of worship for almost 1500 years. Over the centuries, millions of pilgrims have come here to pray, to celebrate, to grieve... and to walk over stones and steps worn concave by the shoes (and knees) of the faithful. Many of us may have read Chaucer's CANTERBURY TALES, stories of pilgrims of every pious circumstance (and murky motive and mischievous spirit!). Canterbury Cathedral still is a favorite destination for pilgrimages from all over the world; youth pilgrimages, peace pilgrimages, contemplative pilgrimages, ecumenical pilgrimages (interested? see

This morning' s 2-hour liturgy, using six languages, was beyond description. Christ was vividly present in our midst, through rich variety of cultural religious expression. Our Brothers and Sisters of Melanesia brought the Gospel down the nave by small boat (symbolizing how the Gospel first came to them), with signing and dancing to flutes and drums. Now, here's a thought for our waterfront congregations; to enliven your Gospel processions...

Preaching was Bishop DuLeep de Chickera of Sri Lanka, a noted reconciler in a land with serious civil war challenges ebbing and flowing. Without a note visible, but with ample gentle passion, he drew us into the all-including, all-embracing heart of Christ.

We spilled out into the Cathedral precincts after the recessional. It was a clear, slightly breezy day, so most of us lingered and talked, greeting old friends and well-wishers and scratching our heads at the odd picketer or two holding signs with incomprehensible messages. The contagious joy of the worship will carry me into the upcoming week, while we get down to "business". As you know, some of that business is pretty difficult. Keep those prayers flowing.

We understand that many of our Maine congregations will do a "virtual walk" with us during our Lambeth Walk of Witness this Thursday beginning 10:30 am London time (5:30 am for Maine time), led by the Archbishop of Canterbury to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for eradicating extreme povery. It's not to late to prepare to join us! At the very lease, pray with us during this "walk" so that awareness will be raised and funds be offered.

We believe that the MDGs represent our important Church mission, as commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ throughout his gospel. Ever yours in respect, +CHILTON

Photos above by Anglican Communion News Service

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bishops take tea on the lawn

At the end of the Bishops' retreat, Bishop Chilton captures the venerable Anglican tradition of teatime.

Bishops are human; Bishops are called to serve

Bishop Stephen's video reflection on Day 4 of the Lambeth Conference. Thanks again to flipographer, Gretchen Lane!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Friars' Garden

We've just finished Day Two of our Retreat with Archbishop Rowan, held within Canterbury Cathedral itself. We've had the cathedral and "precincts" all to ourselves these past two days, and it's been a profound blessing to have the run of the place.

The staff of the cathedral (which employs about 250 people, from stonemasons to musicians to gardeners to clergy) have all made us feel welcome. Feeling the need for some pastoral care, I sought out one of the clergy and was tenderly prayed-over in a small room adjacent to the peaceful Crypt of the cathedral, a quiet and holy place for prayer.

Later this afternoon, eager to stretch my legs, I walked out of the cathedral gate into Canterbury, looking for a side street I remembered from Lambeth '98. There it was: the GreyFriars' modest Guest House and beautiful Prayer Garden. I had come to this very Prayer Garden in '98, at a painful point in the Lambeth proceedings. Visiting this Prayer Garden today was like coming full circle. Standing on a bridge over a wee stream flowing through the garden, I caught sight of a mother duck and her three baby ducks. She would alternately paddle away from them, then circle back to "herd" them together. Full circle indeed.

We've had glorious worship during our Retreat; the acoustics of Gothic space and the heartfelt singing of 600+ bishops makes a stunning combination. I'll try to send my video piece to this blog, as it may have captured some of our singing in the background. In spite of Heidi's expert training and patient ministrations, I'm not yet sure I know how to do this.

I'd like to introduce you all to my Bible Study group, but I'll wait till I talk with them all tomorrow before I show up with videocam. There may well be folks who'd rather not be video'd. Meanwhile, love and blessing to you all from Canterbury...+CHILTON

Tuma Mina - "Fill Me, Jesus" The prayer of the Lambeth Conference

Bishop Stephen reflects on Day 3 of the Lambeth Conference. His written reflection of the day is two posts below.

I love communicators

My colleague, the Rev. Scott Gunn, of the Diocese of Rhode Island shipped off this photo of Bishop Knudsen taken this evening.

Scott+ keeps the insightful and entertaining blog and is a good Province One communicator colleague/pal. He writes, I was standing outside Canterbury Cathedral today, and I happened to snap this photo of Bishop Knudsen walking by. Thought you might find it of use. She was leaving evensong after a day on retreat in the Cathedral."
Thanks, Scott!

A Bit About Bible Study

The first substantive conversations of each day take place in our Bible study groups. There is no sermon at the Eucharist, and breakfast is a mad dash, so the first opportunity to reflect and speak is in our group of eight.

We're working through the Gospel of John using a study guide prepared especially for Lambeth by a Bible Study Team lead by Gerald West, Professor of Old Testament at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, and including Mary Chilton Calloway of the School of Theology at Fordham and Jenny Te Paa of the College of St. John the Evangelist in Auckland, New Zealand. The study guide is different than the commentary we read in preparation for Lambeth, and it focuses on the "I Am" statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

My Bible study group is all male, and seven of us are from the US, England and Australia. The eighth member of our group is from Chile. Despite this, there is a wide variety of perspectives and experience. Among other things, one of us is an environmental activist, one of us is evangelical, and one is a military chaplain. Our conversations have been lively.

Each study begins and ends with prayer and includes the reading of the text and of a short commentary. Today we read about John the Baptist making straight a path in the wilderness for the Lord. The discussion question was, "What does it mean to make a straight path for the Lord in our context?" One of us spoke about removing barriers so the unchurched could see Jesus. Another spoke of the "parallel universe" that the church exists in and opening doors so that people could connect their every day lives with the sacraments and traditions of the church. Still others spoke of speaking simply and acting directly so that people could see what it means to lead Christian lives. And we all agreed that our post-modern world has made it difficult for some people to see the relevance of the church and that our devotion of our Anglican traditions is sometimes a major impediment for folks who are trying to understand the church. Rich conversation!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bishop Stephen has an "aha" moment

Here's a video reflection on Day 2. Thanks to our flipographer Gretchen Lane.

Bishops' video on Day 2 at Lambeth

Here is the promised video of the big top as well as a visit with the Bishops to Canterbury Cathedral. Sorry for the poor outdoor sound quality. We'll work on it.

Bishop Stephen has posted a written reflection of the day below. (The five hour time difference is fiddling with us!)

Please keep the bishops in your prayers.

The Community of Lambeth

Part of the joy of the Lambeth Conference is the gathering of the Anglican community. Everywhere you go there is someone new to meet and to talk with.

In our little community at Paley House, in addition to Gretchen and me are the Bishop Suffragan of Toronto, the Bishop Suffragan of Alabama, and the Bishop of the Virgin Islands. Since there is only one shower, we had an important meeting last evening to determine the morning shower schedule. We're learning things about each other I'm sure none of us planned to share.

Today the Lambeth program began in earnest. We started at 7:15 am with Eucharist. The service was brief: opening sentences, confession, OT, alleluia verse, Gospel, intercessions, communion, and closing hymn. No sermon.

After a quick breakfast (quick because time was short and lines were long), we met for Bible study.

My Bible study group, named "Cyprian," is made up of eight bishops. Among them are an old friend from the Diocese of Huron (Canada), three English bishops, the Bishop of Canberra (Australia), the Bishop of Dallas, and the Bishop of Chile. We had no designated facilitator, so the job fell to me as the junior member. Fortunately the study guide is easy to follow. We spent a few minutes introducing ourselves and then plunged into a study of the Prologue from the Gospel of John.

The spouses also began their program this morning. The spouses were welcomed by Jane Williams, whose theme for the morning was "Privilege and Gratitude." The theme for the conference is "God's People for God's Mission." The spouses heard a presentation from the Executive of the Mother's Union about their work in 78 countries. This was followed by Bible study groups. After lunch, the spouses met in Provincial groups. During the day Gretchen had conversations with spouses from West Africa, the Congo, the Diocese of the Arctic (Canada), and Auckland (New Zealand).

Bishops' and spouses' programs were completely separate today because, after their Bible study, the Bishops left for Canterbury Cathedral and the beginning of a three day retreat.

The day consisted of several brief worship opportunities and two reflections by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The first reflection concerned thanksgiving for our ministries and ordinations as bishops. It is an extraordinary gift and opportunity to serve the people of God as bishops.

We had a break for lunch in the courtyard of the International Study Center which is adjacent to the Cathedral. During lunch I had an extensive conversation with an English bishop about church perspectives on war and peace and the difficulty for both our countries now that we are so thoroughly entrenched in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The afternoon meditation lifted up the importance of compassion in Episcopal ministry. A strong leader is one who suffers with the weakest members of the community.

The retreat day ended with sung Evening Prayer led by the Cathedral Men and Boys Choir. Exquisite.

After returning to the campus, bishops and spouses were reunited for supper. Following supper, I attended a meeting for blogging bishops and Gretchen attended the launch of Jane Williams book, Marriage, Mitres, and Being Myself.

A long full day, indeed.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bishop Chilton featured on Episcopal Life Media video

Of the 650 bishops at Lambeth, our own Bishop Chilton was featured in a video by Episcopal Church Media to share her hopes for the Lambeth Conference.

Check it out here. (Unfortunately there isn't a direct link to the video. Click the page numbers until you find a video called, "Bishops Share Hopes for the Lambeth Conference" 7.16.08.)

Bishop Chilton's reflections on Day 1

Love and blessing to you all from the Lambeth Conference at the
University of Kent in Canterbury! I sat on a hill outside the
registration building today, digging my toes into the green grass
(British weather is so GOOD for green things, even lawns), basking in
the sun while waiting for Mike to appear on campus. I've been here in
England for over a week and I'm eager to see him.

Some kind of computer malfunction brought the registration queue (in England, it's not a "line", it's a "queue") to a dead stop. Looking
down on the group of 200+ waiting to register, I felt a lump form in
my throat. HERE is the Anglican Communion; people in native dress,
the air thick with many languages, warm hugs and hellos happening all up and down the line (sorry, the queue). THIS is who we really are:
members one of another within the Body of Christ... of varied
convictions and backgrounds, drawn together by the merciful love of
God made known to us in Jesus, the Word made Flesh, in whom is our hope. I found myself wishing that every newspaper from across the globe would snap pictures and write stories about the hugs I saw
happening...the eye contact, the body language, the clear sense of
family. Of course, we don't agree about everything (find me a family
who does!) but golly, it's a grace-filled bit ** to sit on a small hill in Canterbury, England, toes in the grass, watching Anglicans love
one another. God is with us. Thank you all for your prayers, dear
ones. Keep 'em coming. +CHILTON

** In England, a "bit" is an experience, a moment, a part of something larger, a piece of information, an insight, a revelation...

Bishop Stephen's thoughts on Day 1 of Lambeth

Bishop Stephen also captured a great 360 degree video from inside the Big Top but, ah, was afterward "admonished" for taking it. We don't want to get him in trouble on his very first day, so we'll get permission before we post.

Bishop Stephen tours his digs at the University of Kent

We're Safely Here

Gretchen and I arrived at Kent University about 10 pm Tuesday evening after an easy day of travel. We were greeted at Heathrow Airport by a friendly and efficient Lambeth steward who took us to St. George's Chapel at the airport. There we met three other bishops and one spouse, all from the Church of South Africa. We were driven by van to the university.

Registration had closed for the evening, as had the food service. So we had a light supper of beer and cookies at a campus pub and then retired to our dorm - Paley Hall in the Darwin College Houses. (Video will follow.)

We're sharing our space with Bishop Ambrose Gumbs of the Diocese of the Virgin Island. Bishop Gordon Scruton of Western Massachusetts is next door.

Kent University is sprawling and the dining hall is a short walk from our dorm. This morning we were up early to register for the Conference and get our ID badges so we could eat breakfast.

The conference starts this afternoon (Wednesday) at 6 p.m.

Much more to follow.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Letters from Lambeth 1998

This Episcopal News Service photo by Jim Solheim with Bishop Chilton Knudsen in the foreground was taken just before a Lambeth Eucharist. She was the first woman bishop to participate in an official Lambeth worship service.

Below are the original "Letters from Lambeth" Bishop Knudsen sent back to Maine in July and August, 1998. While they were posted on our fledgling 12-page diocesan website, many more people read them in hard copies that were sent to each congregation. How times have changed!

Bishop Chilton had been consecrated and installed as diocesan bishop in Maine just four months before heading to the Lambeth Conference in July 1998. She was one of four diocesan bishops who were women, one of eight women bishops in the Episcopal Church, and one of 11 women bishops in the Anglican Communion. The Lambeth Conference in 1998 was the first ever to welcome bishops who were women, since Suffragan Bishop of Massachusetts, Barbara Harris, was consecrated in 1989.

From the joy of meeting and worshiping with other bishops from around the world to the painful experience of being hissed when she raised her hand to vote "No" on the compromise resolution regarding human sexuality, reading her letters from the most recent Lambeth Conference is a great way to get a sense of what's to come over the next few weeks.

First Letter from Lambeth
Received July 23, 1998

My window in Rutherford dorm looks right out across a small valley, and the looming presence of Canterbury Cathedral is in my sight as I sit at my window, first thing in the morning and last thing at night (when the cathedral is dramatically lit up). The pace of this conference is intense...the stimulation of so many ideas, conversations, new faces, reading material, press interviews, etc., have forced me to find a few centering points in the days’ schedule.

One of those points is our morning Eucharist each day. A moment which always moves me is the Lord’s Prayer, prayed in the native tongue of each participant, all making a hum of prayer which rises and falls like a great wave. Other centering moments come in walking back and forth across the campus; after a bit of rain, we have clear and mild days, and the air is ALMOST as sweet-smelling as in Maine. We who are women bishops have been uniformly well-received. It is clear that some people are uncomfortable, but cordiality reigns. The vast majority of people are thrilled that we are here, and have been going out of their way to greet and meet us.

The whole Conference is filled with a rich exchanging of stories; what is ministry like in your diocese? what are the challenges you face? what gives you joy? From an Australian aborigine (who has led women’s empowerment groups for her people), to a bishop from Rwanda, to a bishop’s wife from the Sudan, to a British bishop who spent his boyhood going to camp in Maine, this conference has been filled with the lovely grace of simple human encounter. It is our incarnational faith - our deep understanding that Christ is present in the fullness of all human experience, and in each and every person - that is so profoundly evident to me right now. Christ’s life within each life, and within the life of this gathered community, so apparent and so tender. We ARE part of a larger family, a broader community. And what happens to our companions in faith touches us all: each of us remarks about this amazing sense of belonging together. In spite of the very strong differences between us, there is a true sense of family here.

Our section has been working hard on a variety of human rights issues. We have had superb presentations on such tough issues as international debt, ethnic rivalry, New Testament ethics, and the role of Scripture in the Church. All of these have filled me with sermon material (watch this space!) and with stimulating notions for deeper reflection. If I have one lament, it is that there is simply SO MUCH to ponder, and so little time to ponder. As you know, I was slated to offer the intercessions at the opening Eucharist; a task shared with the Bishop of the Seychelles. It was an awe-filled moment to pray in that historic space. And it turns out that this was the first occasion of a female bishop doing anything official in the I have had a bit of press excitement and attention. Each day we start with prayer and Bible study (after the early Eucharist) in our small groups. Our group has come together quickly. We each pray aloud for our people, and for one another’s ministry as a bishop. You are lifted up in prayer daily. I think that’s another one of those centering points I mentioned in my first paragraph.

Last night as I was walking through the foyer of my dorm, I heard a number of women from South Africa begin spontaneously to sing, with clapping and dancing. As I watched them, I felt overwhelmed at being a part of what is indeed a global community, a gathered people, who seek to serve Christ in so many corners of the world.

Thank you all for your prayers for us all. We need your prayers as we move deeper into the conference, and begin to identify the real points of tension within our Communion. Hold us all in your hearts of prayer.

Blessings and love to you all, +CHILTON

Second Letter form Lambeth
Received July 26, 1998

To God’s beloved in Maine -
It feels now that we are moving into our work with greater focus and intensity. It’s time to draft resolutions and reports "From the Bishops of the Anglican Communion" and we are all busily typing and reading and editing. After the written material gets into final form, there will be plenary debate and adoption (or non-adoption) of the various resolutions and reports. The plenary debates are where we will put to the test the very congenial, respectful and close connections we have made with one another in our worship, Bible studies, and meal time chats. There will be some heated debate about a number of issues, including relationships with Muslim countries, world economics, human sexuality, environmental matters and disarmament.

I continue to relish the moments of re-centering in the midst of all this sustained activity. Our daily worship deepens as we grow to know one another better. Today (Sunday) the Eucharist was led by the Church in Polynesia and New Zealand, and was joyfully done, with some of the customs of the Maori people sprinkled into the liturgy. They do a haunting entrance rite into the sacred space of the worship area, with movements that evoke a sense of reverent gathering and quieting. The prayer in other languages continues to flow among us and brings up the heart dimension of prayer - when we don’t understand the words used, we have only to listen with the heart.

People continue to be welcoming of me/us, and there has been not one bit of discomfort by any of the women bishops here. We check in with each other regularly, and have only good to report. Our brother bishops in the US are being very protective - regularly they come up and ask if we are OK. It feels to me like living with a big brother (in the good sense!). It has been VERY good for this Lambeth to break through the gender barrier as it has. I have had more invitations than I can count to come overseas to this or that place to provide people a chance to meet a bishop who is a woman (I have not accepted any of these invitations...but have referred them on to others who are a bit more settled in their dioceses than I am ---this year is the year to stay home after Lambeth and settle in with you-all and with my family).

Tonight we go to a special visit to Canterbury Cathedral with a service of Compline there, with special intentions for our own ministries of peace and justice. Know that I will be praying for you all and for our life together tonight in that very holy place.

Tuesday we are off to see the Queen - with tea at Buckingham Palace and a ride down the Thames River. I think of Maine often - not in any fretting way, but with heart-felt gratitude that we have been called together as we have.

Blessings and love in Christ, +CHILTON

Third Letter from Lambeth
Received August 1, 1998

Dear Friends:
It has been an incredible week. Monday we began our in-earnest section report-writing and resolution-drafting, with more keyboarding and wordsmithing. Amazingly, and grace-fully, our section has just about come to unanimity on its findings and recommendations. We hear that other sections are struggling with controversies and not yet finding consensus. The Chaplaincy team is putting in extra prayer time for the spirit-filled kind of consensus which these groups are seeking. A lesson for all of us - freshly offered to me - is how much we do agree on how many issues. The substance of our unity is so much larger than our differences. My prayer is that we will emerge from this conference with a spirit of deep communion and unity even as we acknowledge some significant differences in points of view.

Tuesday was LONDON DAY! Lunch at Lambeth Palace (with a tour of the gardens beforehand). Lunch was served under a tent on the lawn, with probably 1000 people present. Tony Blair was our speaker and he was quite good; spoke of how the church and the public sector are called to be about holding and advancing values which reverence human destiny and dignity. Then, off by bus to Buckingham Palace, and tea with the Queen. We made quite a sight, parading through London on our way into buses, with police escort, all in our purple cassocks and native dress. While I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who got to meet Herself, I was in a group near her. She has amazingly kind eyes. I wondered to myself what her life feels like to her...and thought of how the last visual memory I have of Buckingham Palace comes from late last summer when TVs all over the world were beaming pictures of a flower-bedecked Palace gate, thronged with people mourning Diana’s death. In one of those wonderful congruencies of time and memory, I realized that I gotten up early that morning to watch Diana’s funeral on TV, and later that same day went to O’Hare airport to pick up Jon Strand and Bev Breau who came to visit me for the Maine Nominating Committee.

My, how one association triggers another... One of the most beautiful times of each day is our Bible Study in small groups. My group has truly become a support and prayer experience. We are sharing very deeply with one another as bishops, and I am struck over and over at how the Spirit seems to draw us into experiences which shape us as we later see we needed to be shaped. I am also humbly aware of how much freedom and ease we take for granted in the American Church - some of my Bible Study brothers have spent time in prison, some have gone into exile, some are paid at poverty level, some have had family members threatened, attacked and killed. Pray, sisters and brothers, for those who suffer for the sake of conscience or faith - and pray that we may be deepened in our gratitude for all the blessings which we so often take blithely for granted. The power of Christ is at work among us, even as we wrestle with our differences. I have had my heart stretched and broken at the stories I hear, and have had my heart warmed at the amazingly warm welcome and affection which continues to surround those of us who are women, and the genuine spirit of community we have built.

Our worship times together feed me. The presentations on Christian-Muslim relations added a solemn note, as we heard more stories about religious tension and struggle. I feel God calling us all to learn how to live in the world with differences, while at the same time holding firm to the vision of justice for all people. Another high point of our week has been our retreat day - on Thursday evening Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities (in which handicapped and able-bodied people live together in witness to human solidarity) spoke to us of reconciliation and holiness. We then had a candlelight evensong, penance service and footwashing, and kept a time of silent prayer with vigil and music. Our people, our witness and our life in Christ as the Diocese of Maine, were all held in prayer along with so much else flowing from a full (at this point, a bit overfull!) heart.

As I write this, it is Saturday afternoon, and I am enjoying some down time. We have no formal events scheduled for this "free" weekend. Later today, I will go with Fr Alan Duke, who knows and loves Maine, to his home to spend the night and preach tomorrow in his congregations. One of them is the church where the great Anglican theologian Richard Hooker was the vicar. I may be able to send one more bulletin next week, & will be developing a pastoral letter for all of you to share with your congregations after I return. There may very well be a pastoral from all the bishops here at Lambeth also.

Know that you are all in my heart’s prayer, that Christ may be lighting your paths and enfolding you with love. +CHILTON

Fourth Letter from Lambeth
Received August 6, 1998

To God's Beloved in Maine:
This last week of the Lambeth Conference has been exhausting and painful. We have moved into plenary debate and voting on various resolutions, many of which became hotly controversial as they emerged from committee. I am deeply saddened by many of the actions which the conference has taken. For example, a balanced compromise resolution on human sexuality emerged from the relevant committee. This committee had met for agonizing hours, and represented every conceivable point of view. As different as their opinions were, they had come, slowly and painfully, to a document they could unanimously agree on. But this document was rapidly amended on the floor into a harsh and strident pronouncement which passed overwhelmingly, with most of the votes coming from the developing world, which has a huge majority of bishops amongst our group. Feelings run high on this issue. As I put up my hand to vote "no", I was hissed and verbally harassed by people sitting around me.

You may have seen headlines in the USA about Lambeth's decision on the issue of human sexuality. While no action of the Lambeth Conference has any legislative weight on any part of the Anglican Communion, the world has been watching our decisions (I wish the world were watching our OTHER decisions as carefully). I want to refresh all of us about my own position, which I openly shared with you during the election process last fall. I am prayerfully persuaded that God is calling us to be an inclusive church, in which all people are warmly welcomed, without prejudice or condemnation. I welcome, and give thanks for, the life we in Maine share as brothers and sisters, male and female, old and young, gay and straight, conservative and liberal. I will do everything in my power to assure that Maine becomes ever more a safe place for everyone to seek and serve Christ, whatever their opinions or circumstances. In the sacrament of Baptism, we are grafted into Christ. No one can ever be excluded. While Christ's Body was pierced, and bruised, it is a risen Body. And that is who we are. The Body of Christ, all members one of another. All of us loved, all of us being healed and forgiven, all of us being formed for service, all of us learning how to find Christ in every person.

Although much continues to be sheer pleasure (our small group is always full of grace, the worship remains a great blessing, and the sharing of heart-stretching stories continues in our mini-U.N.), I am a bit weary and ready to sleep in my own bed. And the coffee here is terrible (I will make a beeline for Maine Coffee Roasters). And, yes indeed, I miss being with you all. It will be good to catch up and find out what has been happening in the lives of those who form the Body of Christ back home.
My love and prayers, +CHILTON

Friday, June 20, 2008

News from Lambeth: Then and Now

Welcome to our "Letters from Lambeth" blog where our bishops will report back both in word and in image their experiences from the Lambeth Conference this July and August. Hundreds of bishops representing dioceses across the Anglican Communion will attend this gathering held in England once every ten years since 1878. (The first one was held in 1867.) As the blog is developed we'll provide links off to the right that will answer a lot of your questions about Lambeth, then and now.

Here's a story about Bishop Knudsen published in the Lambeth Daily during the last Lambeth Conference.

advice for bishops new to the Lambeth Conference

During a press conference held in Portland, Maine, on May 2, 2008, Bishop Chilton Knudsen offers advice and perspectives on the Lambeth Conference. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, and the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Bishop Coadjutor of Maine join her.