Heading to Lambeth
This weekend Patricia and I begin our journey to England, specifically to Canterbury, where we will attend the Lambeth Conference.
So what is the Lambeth Conference?
Meeting around every ten years since 1867 and convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference is an international meeting of Anglican bishops. “Anglican” means bishops who serve churches that share a common heritage in the Church of England. The Episcopal Church was born out of the Church of England in the United States. Therefore, bishops of the Episcopal Church, along with Anglican bishops from round the globe attend the Lambeth Conference. It is anticipated that over 600 bishops from around 165 countries will attend.
This meeting, from July 26 to August 7, will be the 15th Lambeth Conference.
Lambeth Conference is one of the four Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion (the other three are: The Archbishop of Canterbury; The Primates’ Meeting; and the Anglican Consultative Council). As an Instrument of Unity, the Lambeth Conference serves to strengthen our fellowship, our partnerships, and our understanding of each other as a worldwide Church in the body of Christ that shares a common heritage, tradition, and mission.
In addition to strengthening our unity as the Church, the conference will provide opportunities to discuss church and world affairs and the global mission of the Anglican Communion for the decade ahead. The Lambeth Conference has no legislative authority, and no resolutions will be considered. However, as the bishops engage in prayer and conversation about our common mission and concerns for the Church and the world, the bishops may issue “Calls” to the Church that speak to our common hope and engagement.
The conference theme is ‘God’s Church for God’s World – walking, listening, and witnessing together.” Inspiration for our work together will come from 1 Peter as we read, study, and pray this text together.
Bishop spouses are invited to participate as well. There will be parallel programs for spouses during the conference. I am delighted that Patricia will be joining me on this important and, for most bishops, once-in-a-career event. I know Patricia is looking forward to the experience, and I know that she will represent our Diocese beautifully.
Following the Lambeth Conference, Patricia and I will be taking a brief honeymoon in London before returning to Alaska August 13.
We are very grateful for this opportunity.
In Other News:
Your Alaska Deputation served faithfully and wonderfully at the 80th General Convention in Baltimore, July 7-11. We can anticipate receiving reports from the Deputation over the next few weeks and months, and there will be a Report from General Convention as part of our Diocesan Convention September 29-October 1 in Anchorage. They worked hard, and I am proud of their witness and leadership. Paul Williams, Jr. from St. Matthew’s Beaver spoke powerfully on the floor of the House of Deputies about the need for healing and reconciliation from the history of boarding schools. Every one of our Deputies contributed to Convention.
We also had a little fun. One of my favorite memories of the 80th General Convention will be zooming around the Baltimore Harbor on electric scooters (the two-wheel stand-up kind) with Mary Norton (St. George’s, Kotzebue), Dan Hall (St. Brendan’s, Juneau), and Dawn Allen Herron (St. Mary’s, Anchorage). I felt like a kid again. We even stopped at an ice cream truck for a treat.
Other members of the Deputation were Adam Lees (St. Mary’s, Anchorage); Alice Holinger (St. David’s, Wasilla); Michael Burke (St. Mary’s, Anchorage); and Julie Platson (St. Peter’s, Sitka).
One of the felt losses due to COVID-19 protocols was the experience of General Convention corporate worship. Instead of gathering together in one space, each House (Deputies and Bishops) held Morning Prayer in their own convention hall. However, both Houses watched the same sermon in video format. Sadly, because of these changes and the reduction of the schedule to only 4 days, many special worship experiences were cut, including a service celebrating Indigenous and Native American ministries and leadership. Our own Bessie Titus was scheduled to be the preacher for that service. Hopefully, Bessie will be invited to preach at the next General Convention in Louisville, KY summer 2024.