Wednesday, July 30, 2008

As others see us

Yesterday evening I was a guest of a member at a dinner of The Nikaean Club held in honour of the ecumenical participants at the Lambeth Conference. The after dinner speaker was Cardinal Walter Kasper.

I had never been to the Nikaean Club before and knew little about it. Now I know a good deal more. It was set up by Archbishop Randall Davidson in 1925 to commemorate the sixteenth centenary of the First Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church held in Nicea in 325.

It exists 'to further relations with non Anglican Christian churches, to assist students from such churches and to offer hospitality on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury to representatives of such churches.'

Along with the many members who were there last night were the great number of ecumenical guests attending the Lambeth Conference as well as representatives of those churches with which we are in Communion.

Being there last evening prompted me to highlight for you my experience of the wonderful contribution non-Anglicans are making to our gathering, our work and our reflection. In my Bible Study Group we have a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (who is currently President of Princeton Theological Seminary) and, together with him, in our larger Indaba Group we have a Swedish Bishop, a Moravian Bishop and a representative of the Lutheran World Federation. Each of them has been a blessing and, frequently, at just the right moment, one of them has had the right word for we Anglicans.

Thank God for them: they help us to see ourselves as others see us.

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