The decennial meeting of the world's Anglican/Episcopal bishops isn't much in the news but it is much on the minds of many of us in The Episcopal Church - as well, I suspect, as in the other 37 provinces. I've been following bishops' blogs and news from Episcopal Life, videos from TECtube and Bishops Lane, Chilton and Smith. My own Bishop has written several reflections that are posted on the diocesan website. Lambeth featured in both of my recent sermons.
But I confess I don't know what I hope will come out of this Conference except a better understanding between bishops about who these different but similar provinces are and lasting friendships. My guess is that there are people in every province who support the actions of TEC and the Church in Canada just as I know there are those here at home who do not support those actions. Can we really be reconciled with each other without changing our positions? That remains to be seen.
I am very grateful that the Archbishop of Canterbury made it clear that this Lambeth is not to be a legislative session. I think we would do well in TEC to consider modeling our General Convention next summer after Lambeth. While we are bound to legislate some things - canons and constitution, budget, elections, consents - we could spend much more time in conversation, prayer and Bible study.
Surely, listening, studying and praying together might eliminate some walls. If we get to know our "enemies" then we might find it harder to sling names and mud at them and they might discover that we aren't all that bad, either.
Let's put aside power and control and authority for one General Convention. We might find we like it a lot better than battling over legislation, much of which makes no difference in the life of the Church.