Skip to comments.A Few Notes on the Mere Anglicanism Conference
Posted on 02/06/2007 6:52:09 PM PST by sionnsar
Over the next few days a number of posts will be offered with content from the Mere Anglicanism conference. I am very grateful for the hard work of so many at the conference, including the Mere Anglicanism team, as well as Matt Kennedy and Greg Griffith who both took off from work and flew in, mostly to labor with no return except my thanks.
Greg taught an excellent workshop during two separate days on the world of cyberspace and blogging, and since Matt is on the Resource Team of Mere Anglicanism, he was present for several administrative and planning meetings. Matt also was kind enough to fill in and do some filming for Mere Anglicanism, since we wanted to offer some visual flavor of some of the events at the conference. I need to publicly thank them for everything that they did, to make the conference a success, while acknowledging that they may have been, er, "suckered in" by our having worked together on this blog and at the General Convention. Thank you both!
There were several personal highlights. Though I did not get to hear all of the speakers' talks -- too much behind the scenes work -- what I heard of Ashley Null, Edith Humphrey, and Bishop Nazir-Ali was extremely stimulating. My mind fizzed with ideas like champagne in a fluted glass! ; > ) Since Matt was not able to be in two places at once, we only managed to film Edith Humphrey's talk, which was clear and insightful.
I also was interested in the Scholar's panel, which was unsurprisingly deep and thoughtful. And I was unexpectedly heartened by the Common Cause panel. Though I think that in other comments I've been clear that I am realistic about the near future prospects of unity [slow and slim], I was impressed by the progress that seems to have been made in understanding, clarity about differences, and friendship amongst the participants, which included the REC bishop, Leonard Riches, a bishop from the AMiA, John Rodgers, and Bishop Jack Iker, among others. One segment of the panel surprised me, I have to say, in a pleasant way. But I will leave that panel's comments to the video link which we were fortunately able to film.
The Lay Activists' panel came together in an unexpected fashion -- we had two laypeople who are very active in their dioceses of Southern Virginia and East Carolina, Greg Griffith of StandFirm, Chip Webb, the new director of Anglican Action of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Bill Boniface of Episcopal Witness, and Sue Careless, one of the editorial staff of The Anglican Planet -- an incredible print newspaper in Canada that provides Anglican news in competition with the revisionist print offering of the Canadian church. This publication has the distinction of having been banned by a Canadian bishop -- so with enemies like that, it has to be good! ; > )
Three other aspects of the conference were deeply satisfying to me. First, I enjoyed meeting so many, many people who are involved in work within their parishes and dioceses, and who read various blogs, including StandFirm. It is amazing that we are all out there, laboring away, often in some fairly intense and emotional situations.
Second, we offered a "Blogger's Roundtable" with little knowledge of what to expect. But some 35 people and five bloggers showed up at an Irish pub, Tommy Condons, and it was so wonderful to put "faces to pseudonyms", laugh together, and even pray together. We opened the floor for questions and comments, and I found the most stimulating part was the request for predictions. It was fascinating to hear people's thoughts about what would happen and I will be posting an article shortly on my thoughts that I clarified at the roundtable.
Finally, I was deeply touched [suprisingly] by the opening Evening Prayer service at St. Philips on Thursday night. Perhaps it was the cumulative effect of having pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday night [bah!] and limited sleep during the week. Perhaps it was the frenzy of those final preparations. Perhaps it was sitting back and reflecting on the past three years. But the prayers, the beautiful music, the sermon by Bob Duncan, even viewing the processional and recessional, all sitting in a pew with some Upper South Carolina and Mississippi friends, moved me more than I had "intended". I have never been an "easy sleeper" [and Anglican Warfare has not improved this] but after my discovery of Evening Prayer and Compline services in the 1990s, I have often noticed that I sleep better when I partake of these services in the evening.
Evening Prayer holds a special place in my heart -- and now I have one more sweet memory of it, amongst friends.
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