Yesterday was an exhausting day which started peculiarly but was enlivened by moments of grace.
The peculiar start was arriving for breakfast at Eliott College to find a small crowd gathered outside. There was a security alert. Some time later the police emerged with a black suitcase with a piece of string hanging out of it - not someone's laundry but, I was told, a case of books for a book launch. That's one way of promoting your book!
More important, while I was waiting outside I met David Mac Iyalla who had bundles of the daily newsletters for InclusiveChurch. Davis is a Christian, an Anglican, from Nigeria and is gay. (Strange - I have heard several African bishops and two archbishops say in recent days that there are no gay people in their countries). Davis is the leader of Changing Attitude Nigeria, a group that works for equality for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members of the Anglican Communion. I was glad to meet him and to have the opportunity to hear part of his story from him face to face (in contrast see my post of yesterday!). He fled Nigeria in 2006 having received death threats.There are some reports that he has also received death threats (which the British Police have established have come from outside the UK) since arriving at the Lambeth Conference. This week Davis' application for asylum in the United Kingdom has been granted.
As the day went on it was searing hot. The Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Spain came to my rescue. Just before my Indaba group he came up to me and said that Ana (his wife) had said to him that since the Church of Ireland had given his Church in Spain the apostolic succession that they wanted to give me a gift. 'It is a fan for gentlemen,' he said ' without flowers.' And so I am now the proud owner of a very clerical looking (and very effective fan). Roll on those over-heated churches in Cork, Cloyne and Ross who always turn up the boilers when the bishop is coming. I shall now arrived equipped with a liturgical fan!
In the afternoon I needed the fan for the hearing session organised by the Windsor Report Continuation Group. Nothing to report there: same old, same old.
And what an evening! The evening lecture was enthralling. It was the first time since arriving that I could say I was exhilarated. Our lecturer was the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks. More about him later in the day. I've missed the morning Eucharist and need to get to the dining hall where I trust there will be no more book launches!
Old story, new life: Thoughts on baptism
1 week ago