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Lambeth Digest, Day 8

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[Episcopal News Service, Canterbury] Much happens each day at the Lambeth Conference. In addition to Episcopal Life Media's other coverage, here's some of what else happened on July 29, the eighth day of the conference.

'Recycled vestments' available through Anglicans in World Mission
Neil Traynor of USPG: Anglicans in World Mission recalls a donor dropping off a rather unusual gift: "a set of vestments she made entirely out of her wedding dress." The Church of England agency, which partners with Anglican churches in over 50 countries in the areas of healthcare, education, leadership training and action for social justice, is offering recycled vestments to those in need at their Lambeth Conference Marketplace booth.

Bishop Derek Kamukwamba of Central Zambia said the green stole and red chasuble he selected would be put to good use. "Our clergy … who are newly ordained … have difficulty securing vestments. They will go to whomever is in need."

The recycled vestments aren't the only aid offered by Anglicans in World Mission, he added. "USPG has been helping at our only mission station" in the diocese, which is a hospital, Kamukwamba added. "I am told an ambulance has now arrived at our Fiwila Mission. It wasn't there when I left to come to this conference." The hospital serves the poor and needy.

The lighter side of Lambeth: 'the official drawing of the official photo'
Dave Walker says he's never worked a crowd quite like the Lambeth Conference before, but the 'cartoonist in residence' has been considering the lighter side of the every-decade gathering of Anglican bishops. And drawing it. You can find him in his cartoon tent, on campus where he exhibits, among other things:  'what the spouses think the bishops are doing'; 'what the bishops think the spouses are doing' and 'the official drawing of the official photograph' of the bishops. Walker, 37, says he was commissioned to chronicle the conference. He draws inspiration from "watching, listening and talking to people. And, if worse comes to worse, I talk to friends," he jokes.

His 'official drawing' depicts bishops losing their mitres, using crosiers as hooks, and reading the newspaper while their official photo is being snapped. Some are holding signs that read: 'hello mum' and 'kick me.' Walker, whose cartoons can be found in Church Times and at www.cartoonchurch.com, says seriously: "It's a huge privilege to be asked to do this. It's been great to meet all the bishops and spouses who have come into the tent to talk."

African, U.S. bishops talk partnerships as media makes hopeless quest
Bishops from Africa and the United States attending the 2008 Lambeth Conference met privately during the afternoon of July 29 to discuss possibilities for forging future companion diocese relationships. Meanwhile, more than 30 confused journalists roamed around the University of Kent campus, where the conference is being held, in search of the bishops' meeting, which a fellow reporter with conservative leanings had previously claimed to be a public event.

More than 25 bishops from Burundi, Central Africa, Kenya and West Africa were among those attending the meeting.

The Rev. Emmanuel Sserwadda, Africa partnership officer for the Episcopal Church, said the meeting provided "a good opportunity for planting the seeds for partnerships."

'Motivos Para Creer': celebration of Spanish 'introduction to the faith'
Gratitude and Spanish wine were flowing as Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Bishop Carlos Lopez Lozano of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain welcomed about 40 well-wishers to the July 29 book-signing of "Motivos Para Creer: Introducción a la fe de los cristianos". The Marketplace event highlighted the official Spanish translation of Williams' book "Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to the Christian Faith" (Canterbury Press, 2008.)

"We are always short on Anglican books and materials in Madrid, and we thought, what could be more Anglican than a book from the archbishop?" Lozano said through an interpreter. He thanked Williams for writing the book "and for allowing us to translate it into Spanish. It is extremely helpful in Spain and in Latin America."

Williams alluded to an "unofficial" translation in Cuba, and added: "It's nice to see this in hardcover. My hope is that people will read it simply as a bishop speaking to fellow Christians … and helping Christians to celebrate Easter. Thank you so very much for the honor you've done to me."

The Rev. Canon Jim Rosenthal, Anglican Communion Communications Director said creation of the Spanish translation "shows the Spanish church's commitment to being integral to the communion. For this we shall be grateful."

Lozano added that they're so happy with the translation, "we're starting work on the second book already."

Fire alarm routs bishops in middle of the night
Monday evening's thunderstorm touched off a false alarm about 1:00 a.m. at Beckett Hall on the University of Kent campus, a guest reported. Bishops, spouses and all other guests temporarily residing at the hall had no choice but to wake up, respond, and stand outside in their nighties until the all-clear was called about 15 minutes later.

Next up
The daily schedules for the bishops and spouses conferences, as well as each evening's official "fringe events" are here.

-- Contributors to today's digest include Episcopal Life Media correspondents the Rev. Pat McCaughan and Matthew Davies.

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