Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day of Prayer for the Lambeth Conference

From our Presiding Bishop...

To the people of The Episcopal Church:

As we move toward a great gathering of bishops from across the Anglican Communion, I call this whole Church to a Day of Prayer on 22 June (Sunday). The Lambeth Conference represents one important way of building connections and relationships between churches in vastly different contexts, and reminding us of the varied nature of the Body of Christ.

I would bid your prayers for openness of spirit, vulnerability of heart, and eagerness of mind, that we might all learn to see the Spirit at work in the other. I bid your prayers for a peaceful spirit, a lessening of tension, and a real willingness to work together for the good of God’s whole creation. As many of you know, the Anglican Communion is one of the largest networks of human connection in the world. Churches are to be found beyond the ends of paved or dirt roads, ministering to and with people in isolated and difficult situations. That far-flung network is the result, in part, of seeds planted by a colonial missionary history. The fruit that has resulted is diverse and local, and indeed, unpalatable to some in other parts of the world.

Our task at the Lambeth Conference is to engage that diverse harvest, discover its blessings and challenges, and commit ourselves to the future of this network. We must begin to examine the fruit of our colonial history, in a transparent way and with great humility, if we are ever going to heal the wounds of the past, which continue into the present. With God’s help, that is possible. I ask your prayers. I can think of no better starting place than the prayer for the Church (BCP p 515):

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

I remain
Your servant in Christ,
+Katharine Jefferts Schori

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