Saturday, 2 June 2007


The Lambeth Conference won't look like past gatherings predicts the Rev. Dr. Ian T. Douglas a design team member. He says the Conference will aim to equip bishops in their leadership vocation.

The design for Lambeth 2008 "is not driven by production of reports and enabling resolutions building out of the reports, and that's a significant departure from previous designs," says Douglas, a member of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council and of its delegation to the Anglican Consultative Council.

He told the Episcopal News Service that "the focus here is on transformation, the building of communion and the engagement with each other, the goal of which is to equip the bishops to be more effective and faithful servants to the 'Missio Dei' [God's mission]."

"[But] coming together [is] to encounter one another and God's word, engage the hard issues at a deep level of conversation, and then be equipped to serve God's mission in the world."

The last two Conferences featured four issues-related groups that developed resolutions for the entire group of bishops to consider, said Douglas. Instead, in an effort to equip the bishops as leaders in God's mission, the 2008 Conference will begin with groups of eight bishops from different provinces meeting in what are being called "ndaba groups" to begin the practice of encountering God's Word and encountering each other through sharing their stories and God's story. The word "ndaba" is Zulu, which Douglas said can be translated as a gathering for conversation for the sake of conversation.

Groups of five ndaba groups will be combined for discussions of issues. Douglas told the Executive Council that some of those issues may well include the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), global economic justice, environmental concerns, interfaith dialogue (especially between Christians and Muslims), how to include voices not normally heard at Lambeth (such as women, young people and other members of the laity), Anglican biblical hermeneutics, Anglican identities, the Listening Process, and "human sexuality writ large."

What is wrong with this picture? Read more

No comments: