Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I am

The Lambeth Conference that is occurring here is most certainly for the bishops, but we spouses are having a conference also. Many of the themes and activities overlap. At times we worship together or meet together and at times, we are in separate places.

The spouses meet daily with a plenary session. The general topic is ''Who am I?'' Who am I as a person, as a partner, as a Christian? Each day a new topic is presented to us for consideration and time is allowed to share our own experiences.

After the plenary, the spouses meet for bible study in small groups. The lessons are all based on the gospel of John, particularly on the ''I am'' statements. The bishops are using the same series of lessons but in groups separate from the spouses. These lessons were developed especially for Lambeth and are particularly rich.

My group consists of spouses from Central America, South America and the United States. We are mostly a Spanish speaking group with a translator available. I think it is surprising to most of us, including the translator, that most of her work is from Spanish to English. I certainly did not come to England expecting to speak Spanish!! In our group we use both Spanish and English translations of scripture as well as the text of the lessons. Especially interesting to us is how the scripture has been translated into English and Spanish with different nuances and meanings. All of us have benefited from the diversity of culture and language.

The weaving of the personal ''I am'' and the ''I am'' of Jesus is an interesting perspective for all of us and one that is sure to carry on with us long after Lambeth itself is over.


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