Our Spring meeting of the House of Bishops here at Camp Allen near Houston began with presentations on plans for the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops to be held this summer in England. The emphasis will be on relationship-building and mission. There will be more time in small groups, little legislation, and opportunity for self-selected seminars on various aspects of mission and ministry. Certainly important topics like human sexuality and the developing Anglican Covenant will be addressed. We will begin with a three-day retreat led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
We are in the midst of a “reconciliation retreat” now led by Canon Brian Cox (an evangelical Anglican from the Diocese of Los Angeles) and The Hon. Joanne O’Donnell (a judge and partnered lesbian woman from the same diocese). Together they run the Reconciliation Institute in Santa Barbara and have worked together across the country.
The purpose of their movement “is not to resolve any particular conflict such as ones over human sexuality or The Episcopal Church’s response to the Windsor Report, but to transform the culture of our church to one of faith-based reconciliation and to spread this vision to the world-wide Anglican Communion. By a combination of presentations and small group exercises to explain the core values of faith-based reconciliation, we hope to learn peacebuilding skills in a climate conducive to the divine work of transforming human hearts.”
Seems like appropriate work for bishops during Lent!