Lambeth Conference Daily Account: Bishop Suffragan Catherine S. Roskam of New York, Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona[Episcopal News Service, Canterbury] Bishop Suffragan Catherine S. Roskam of New York and Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona offer the following Daily Account for July 28 at the 2008 Lambeth Conference in Canterbury.
The topic for today was The Bishop, Christian witness and other faiths.
Bible study focused on John 10:1–10: "So again, Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate..."
There was more congruence between today's Bible study to today's topic, the notion of who gets in and who doesn't. We talked about the need for the church to move outside the world, and how we need to stop seeing so much on the inside.
In the Indaba group, we talked about the relationship with other faiths. The learning experience was that we talk about inner-faith dialogue, but for others, this is a much more serious issue as they are up against difficulty in witnessing to the Christian faith in the face of sometime opposition and persecution by other world faiths. How do you bring people to Christ in such an environment? In the developed world, we are more at odds with secularism than with other faiths. In other parts of the Anglican Communion, where Christianity is a minority, we had different critiques of other faiths. We viewed a video featuring various bishops from throughout the world talking about different faiths in their area; it was helpful in setting the context of today's discussion.
In the afternoon, there was a plenary session and hearing on the third document of the Windsor Continuation Group. The document is called Preliminary Observations Part 3. Our understanding of the document is to hold the Anglican Communion together.
The committee distributed the document, and then entertained questions and comments. About 20 people from all over the Anglican Communion spoke during the hearing. There was lively, intense and eloquent testimony.
The document calls for: continuation of moratoria of same-sex blessings and the consecration of gay bishops in partnered relationships; the creation of a pastoral forum; and the ending of cross-border interventions.
There is no time limit indicated. There appears to be in the document an urgency for the creation of the pastoral forum.
This document forms the gist of our discussion for the Indaba group on Saturday. There will be further discussion on this document, formerly and informally throughout the week.