Bishop bloggers and others are beginning to report in from the Lambeth Conference.
Bp Lane of Maine gets the prize for the first video blog report.
Bp Whalon of Churches in Europe and Bp O'Neill of Colorado both report a hopeful spirit among the bishops as they gather. Episcopal Cafe reports more than a few last minute arrivals from around the communion. All but one Province (Uganda) has at least one bishop there although some may pay the price doled out by their archbishops when they return.
The tone this evening was, to my ear, both realistic and hopeful. We should not expect, Archbishop Williams stated in a dose of realism, that in two weeks time we shall find a solution to our problems. It is however realistic, he observed (even faithful I would add) to hope that in two weeks time “we will find the trust that will give us all the energy to change in the way that God intends.”
See this gallery of pictures taken this afternoon. It includes a shot of the Bishop of Butare, Rwanda, the Rt. Rev. Venuste Mutiganda. There are a lot of very late arrivals from bishops thought to have declined their invitations.
We start tonight at 6pm. I have already seen many friends from around our church and the rest of the Communion, and met several bishops. All are optimistic that when we finish in three weeks’ time, we will have moved ahead as a Communion. “When Anglicans work together, we change the world...” seems to be on everyone’s lips. From those lips to God’s ears!
Dave Walker is cartooning the whole circus - see his photos of the "tent."
Bp. Knudsen of Maine writes:
Some kind of computer malfunction brought the registration queue (in England, it's not a "line", it's a "queue") to a dead stop. Looking down on the group of 200+ waiting to register, I felt a lump form in my throat. HERE is the Anglican Communion; people in native dress, the air thick with many languages, warm hugs and hellos happening all up and down the line (sorry, the queue). THIS is who we really are: members one of another within the Body of Christ... of varied convictions and backgrounds, drawn together by the merciful love of God made known to us in Jesus, the Word made Flesh, in whom is our hope. I found myself wishing that every newspaper from across the globe would snap pictures and write stories about the hugs I saw happening...the eye contact, the body language, the clear sense of family. Of course, we don't agree about everything (find me a family who does!) but golly, it's a grace-filled bit ** to sit on a small hill in Canterbury, England, toes in the grass, watching Anglicans love one another. God is with us.
And Bp Alan Wilson opened his suitcase to find his suprise survival kit.