Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saturday, Aug. 2, 2008

Saturday was a day of meetings. The process here is decentralized, and, therefore, it's difficult to have a sense of the whole. There are fifteen groups talking separately and then their conversations are gathered into one report. On a separate track, the Covenant Drafting Group holds hearings during which bishops can give input into their document. On yet a separate track, the Continuing Windsor Group has hearings for input on the status of the Windsor Process. It's like going to a giant tea party and then being asked if you can say what was talked about everywhere.

The draft of the report is on the Lambeth Website. I would just remind you before you read it that it's a report, not a resolution. It is a record of the conversation, not the mind of the Church. This is especially important as concerns the Proposed Covenant. The timeline for that document is (I think) as follows:

+The Drafting Group meets again in late September to revisit the document in light of Lambeth and other feedback.

+They present a report to all the Provinces (national churches) and invite comments between the fall and March 2009.

+They meet again in April 2009 to rewrite the Covenant given the new input.

+They send a new draft to the Anglican Consultative Council in May 2009.

+The ACC will either recommend it or rewrite it or send it back to the Drafting Committee or table it.

+If sent out, all Provinces will vote on it---(it's unclear if that would mean the General Convention 2009 or 2112 or The Episcopal Church).

Therefore, nothing has been ratified here. We have talked about it but not voted on it.

Sunday we have the final plenary. I would anticipate that is a time for summing everything up.

The gift of being here is to know the wideness of the Communion by experience and relationships. The challenge, I think, is to do better at letting Anglicans across the world know about us. I am simply stunned by the lack of reliable information about The Episcopal Church. Few people know anything about our response to the Windsor Report. We cannot do anything about the past, but we can and must do better about getting our story out to our brothers and sisters across the globe.

I would also add that in many ways the experience is the product. If indeed the "bonds of affection" across the Communion have been strained, then our time together is a way of strengthening them. There has been a healing here and a resolve to look at each other differently in the future.

No doubt some will say "You didn't do anything," but I think that's a limited and outside view. We changed our perspective which in itself is doing a great deal. One of the English bishops said, "No one is clapping but the Holy Spirit." I think a lot of people (like me) are clapping but I know the Holy Spirit is. "How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! "

I will be reporting back to the diocese in various ways.

Keep us in your prayers as I keep you in mine.