[Episcopal News Service] Bishops Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real and Jeffrey Lee of Chicago offer the following Daily Account as the bishops attending the 2008 Lambeth Conference concluded their three-day retreat July 19.The final day of retreat began with Bible study, John 4: 6-42: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am, the one who is speaking to you.”
The Bible study groups are starting to grow into deeper communion with one another, and the relationships are deepening day by day. We’re getting to know each other.
The Gospel of John is drawing us deeper in relationship with one another, to deeper honesty with one another in Christ. Bible study has provided the opportunity for us all to speak honestly and be safe within this Lambeth Conference. This was one of the goals of the Lambeth Design Group.
There have been enriching moments and there have been moments of great joy and surprise when we share our experiences of living, which are vastly different from one another.
In today’s Bible study, we talked about, “Is God always strategic or do events happen randomly?” The answer is both, and we are experiencing and enjoying both dimensions here at the Lambeth Conference.
The fifth and final retreat address by the Archbishop of Canterbury focused on the nature of Christian leadership and following Jesus as our only way to be leaders. Jesus always sought the new and open way of God.
The retreat has been about our life as bishops: how we lead as bishops is a model for the entire church.
The archbishop’s address was profound and presented in a very accessible way. It was a sacramental encounter as Christ is revealed in our gathering. The archbishop’s material has been strategic, consistent and relevant to our development as bishops, and as new bishops, we are appreciative of his leadership.
The archbishop has paved the way for the Lambeth Conference, which was his intent. He prepared us for our work ahead. All the Bible studies will continue to keep us grounded in a worshipful place and in communion with one another.