Yesterday was full, it was enough, it was a day of yearning for Christ in our midst.
Lambeth 2022 brings to the foreground issues affecting and speaking-to the entire
communion. The conference draws upon many inner resources, and a bus-load of
newly formed trust; fatiguing and infusing hope at precisely the same moment.
Communication(s) is the principal tool here, but it seems also to be a major
stumbling block. Many of our Lambeth Calls appear straightforward, yet they are
decades old conversations of the whole Church, conversations which require
relationship with one another while we are meeting God, and conversations which
require the commitment of each member to be patient; that is really difficult to do
when I feel like I am being asked to vote on Omnibus motions. Communication
itself might be its own Lambeth Call, clarity, respect and solidarity as the goal and
The Archbishop of York, The Most Rev. Stephen Cottrell presented so beautifully yesterday, he gave a genuinely compelling case for Christ, a rich yet humble recognition of the Bishop’s need to
focus and grab hold of the simple fact that the Church is not ours, but God’s, that
the Church makes disciples who are nurtured to proclaim that God is near, love
kindness, do justice and walk humbly with God at every moment. In my slowly
forming clarity I am beginning to see the Body of Christ itself uttering sighs too
deep for words as our human words fail us while we labour to be One in Christ,
Christ who died and resurrected.
A disciple is to pray, engage life-long learning, prepare the compelling case for
Christ, and know, in no uncertain way, that this Church was never intended to be
our personal possession, but it is to be about what God is doing in this world.
Consequently, a bishop’s role most certainly must include ensuring that disciples
are led to holy and sacred opportunities to let “disciple work” happen.
I briefly summarize Archbishop Cottrell’s end note: we would be in a good place
as bishops of the Anglican Communion were we to live the disciple’s call every
day, and lead disciples from that very space into God’s beautiful world. You just
can’t vote on this type of work, you really just need to do it!