Saturday, July 19, 2008

Between Retreat and Conference

This morning the bishops completed two-and-a-half days of retreat in preparation for the Lambeth Conference. Using images from the Letter to the Hebrews, Archbishop Rowan talked about various elements of leadership with particular reference to the manner in which bishops provide leadership that is somewhat different from other kinds of leaders. Not better, to be sure, but different.

Particularly engaging were the Archbishop's ideas about our role in God's mission. He reminded us that "mission is not taking Jesus where he is not." Jesus goes before us and we walk where Jesus leads. His words were very reminiscent of the writings on mission of Bishop Stephen Bayne, the first General Secretary of the Anglican Communion. It was a thoughtful way of bringing our retreat to a close.

Except for daily worship, we have the remainder of today (Saturday) free. This evening Lynn and I will be joining bishops and spouses from around the world who have in common a relationship with The General Seminary in New York. Not only have many bishops of our church studied there, but many from across the Anglican Communion are part of the GTS family.

The Lambeth Conference formally begins on Sunday morning with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist in Canterbury Cathedral. In the afternoon Archbishop Rowan will give the opening address of the Conference, and the formal agenda commences first thing Monday morning. We'll have a review of the major events of opening day Sunday evening.

Love and blessings to all!

Bishop Neil

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