Now that the Lambeth Conference is over (all the bishops left yesterday morning), there is another conference for just the stewards that started today and will end on Friday morning. I will plan to keep writing until I return home (the date is questionable...I might be returning home September 1st and I might be returning a little earlier to take care of some course work for Fuller). Whatever the date, I hope to update you about the Youth Conference and also about my travels...wherever that might be.
I can now brag that the stewards have spent more time with the ABC than the bishops who came here for the conference. This morning the ABC spent 3 hours talking with us in a seminar room here. The first half of the morning he spent listening to our reflections about the conference. The second half we listened to him reflect on the conference and then we had time for Q & A. The questions ranged from "What is your favorite color?" (he answered dark green) to questions about his vocation and the ways in which he deals with the conflict in the WWAC. He encouraged us to speak from the center and to listen to each other...and be hesitant about being too reactionary. I enjoyed the time with him because we haven't had time to process everything quite yet. The conference went pretty fast and each day brought a new issue to the front. The time we spent with the ABC was reflective and informal...and created space for the stewards to process the things we saw and the ideas we heard. The campus is strange without the bishops being here, but in a sense, creates another reflective space for the stewards. We were here before the bishops arrived and we remain after they departed. A campus that once was filled with the color of purple and the loud sounds of praise every morning (since my room is right next to the Big Top), my mornings are filled with the easy sounds of the wind and the subtle conversation of students that walk just below my window. I have to say I do miss the bishops, despite the fact that sometimes they ordered us around...or even treated us less than human beings. I miss most the conversation and the friendships that I formed as I walked from place to place or as we talked in the Rutherford Bar late at night when all the activities subsided.
It's interesting how this is all working out...how I am moving from the bustle of the conference to a very quiet place in Iona later next week and a time of deep reflection and prayer as I prepare to start another busy year in seminary.