Doing the Lambeth Walk

10 06 2008

Last week, iNYC had the pleasure of listening to Brenda Harrison from the UK speak to us about the inclusive presence at the upcoming Lambeth Conference.  Brenda wears a couple of hats.  She is the Lambeth Administrator for Inclusive Church, whose goal is to work towards a Communion which welcomes every baptized person, and the Lambeth Administrator for Changing Attitudes UK, which is similar to Integrity.

Brenda spoke about “Practicing the Ministry of Presence” in the marketplace at the Lambeth Conference this summer.  The marketplace will be full of people from the USA, Canada, the UK, and will even include some liberal evangelicals.  There will also be some inclusive-minded Africans from Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya pending visas being granted.  It is very important that non-Western voices be heard at the conference, so there is a big push to get as many people from the Global South present at the marketplace as possible.

A huge segment of the marketplace will be devoted to LGBT concerns, so much so that the organizers of the conference have asked the various groups not to send any more people than what have already registered!  There will also be contingents from women’s groups and other groups from around the communion (Africans, Asians, etc.)

There will be a communications centre, and a daily newspaper both of which will be spearheaded by John Clinton Bradley of Integrity USA.  A few bloggers will also be there.  The goal of the communications centre is to be the first port of call, so to speak, for the media.  Despite all efforts by Canterbury to promote the Lambeth Conference as a time of study and reflection and specifically NOT legislative sessions, I personally don’t think the media is going to buy it, so I would be surprised if there is not a substantial media presence at the conference.  The marketplace will also be open to the general public.

On the first Sunday of the Conference, there will be a HUGE Integrity / Changing Attitudes open air Eucharist.  According to Brenda, about 30 or so bishops from The Episcopal Church will be attending.

One final note … According to Brenda, there will be very very small conservative presence (sorry, I refuse to call them orthodox out of principle), which was surprising.  After all, these are the Very Loud Voices saying that their church / communion has been hijacked by the progressives and have called The Episcopal Church apostate and even non-Christian at times.  This is their chance to lay all the cards on the table and to interact with basically almost every who’s who in the Anglican world, and they declined to come to the party.

I look forward to hearing more about the Lambeth Conference from the folks on the ground.  If you are interested in what Integrity USA is doing at Lambeth, I would imagine that the best way to get the updates and newspaper would be to subscribe to Walking With Integrity or check in at Susan Russell’s blog “An Inch at Time,” the links of which are on the blogroll.




2 responses

11 06 2008

Lambeth will be what it is, and I don’t predict anything earth shattering. The ABC’s team has structured the conference in such a way as to minimize anything which may appear like a governing body. In years past many “resolutions” have been “passed”, yet I don’t think this conference will turn into a “British Curia”; which is what some conservatives want. I also predict, from both sides of the camp – that Lambeth Palace is to be renamed “Spin City.”

11 06 2008
the Reverend boy

You’re probably right!

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