Skip to comments.Lord Carey hails new era of tolerance, unity [Anglican]
Posted on 03/16/2006 4:59:49 PM PST by sionnsar
Despite her familiarity with his credentials, nothing quite prepared Rev. Carol Richardson of Memphis for her meeting Wednesday with Lord George Carey of Clifton.
It isn't every day that a Southern Baptist gets to rub shoulders with the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
Advertisement But there Richardson was, along with about a dozen other Catholic and Protestant pastors, talking shop with Carey at the monthly Memphis Ministers Association meeting.
"It's remarkable to be sitting here chatting with one of the world's greatest religious leaders," said Richardson, associate pastor of First Baptist Church. "It's an incredible opportunity."
Carey is a guest speaker this week at the Calvary Episcopal Church Lenten Noonday Preaching Series, now in its 83rd year. He'll preach at 12:05 p.m. today and Friday at the church at 102 N. Second in Downtown Memphis.
As the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 until his retirement in 2002, Carey served as head of the Church of England and spiritual leader to the 77-million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church.
"This is one of the most influential leaders of the Christian community in the world," said Rev. C.B. Baker, dean of St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral. "We are incredibly fortunate to have such a renowned figure in our town."
During his visit with area pastors, Carey, 70, offered an insider's perspective on one of the world's largest denominations.
While he didn't shy away from some of the issues that have divided the group, instead of offering hard and fast answers he advocated more open and intentional dialog.
"How we deal with our differences, whether it's the ordination of women or homosexuals or the definition of marriage, will determine how we survive," Carey said. "I think people want instant answers instead of slowing down to study these things.
"Instead of trying to settle everything at breakneck speed, perhaps we'd be better suited to have more face-to-face meetings while trying to figure it out."
In spite of these problems and the centuries-old divisions within the Christian Church, Carey said modern worshipers are ushering in a new era of tolerance and unity. The result is a reformation of faith.
"In the last 40 years we of different faith traditions have traveled a great way together and we're continuing toward a sense of understanding," Carey said. "I believe the Church as a whole is more ecumenical today than at any other time in history and it's wonderful."
Carey also encouraged interfaith efforts between Christian, Jewish and Muslim believers. In a world scarred by violence and terrorism, he said, only respect and acceptance will make a difference.
"Haven't we learned our lesson? God meant our world to be one family," Carey said. "Life is a family affair and we are expected to show divine grace in our daily lives."
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