Tuesday 29 July 2008

"I Disagree But Will Not Leave the Communion"

Today (Monday) we had a further hearing on the Windsor Continuation process, which is considering the future of the Communion in response to our current challenges.

It was well attended, in a scourgingly hot gym, and there was frank discussion on the proposed Anglican Covenant and the challenges we face. The process is continuing and what stayed in my mind is what one representative of The Episopal Church (TEC) in the United States said: "I disagree with some of my fellow bishops in the TEC theologically but I will not leave the Communion" (paraphrased). This showed a degree of maturity and openness to dialogue because, as ++Tutu always says, the Holy spirit is not finished with us yet.

Following the hearings, I chaired one of the "self-select" sessions - the one on "The Deadly Co-epidemic of Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS." Though not well attended, the quality of speakers and questions was good. This evening, I was unable to attend the plenary session addressed by the Chief Rabbi in the UK, Sir Jonathan Sacks, whom I had heard in Boston last year, because I was at a session with mission partners - it was a good social with a band.

It was Southern Africa's turn today to lead the Evening Worship today (readings: Psalm 46 and James 2:1-10). +Merwyn Castle, our liaison bishop for liturgical matters, was delegated to lead on our behalf. It was a good multi-lingual service with English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans featuring. I need to apologize to the Lebombo and Angola dioceses - the service was mainly "South" and not "Southern" African, as +Dinis Sengulane always reminds us we should be.

The music and visuals were great, capturing our beautiful Province and featuring some of our old stalwarts, for example the late Bishop George Swartz of Kimberley and Kuruman, may his soul indeed rest in peace.

It has been so hot, but tonight we are having a few, most welcome drops of rain.

God bless you,

++ Thabo

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