Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Purple Rain

Dear saints,Sorry, I have not been able to blog for a while. Things have been hectic here. My day essentially begins at
Dear saints,
Sorry, I have not been able to blog for a while.  Things have been hectic here.  My day essentially begins at 6 AM when I wake up for my personal meditation and get ready for the day.  This is followed by corporate worship and Eucharist at 7:15 AM.  After this, we meet for breakfast followed by Bible Study with a group of eight (same group).  After tea we gather with our Indaba group of about thirty where we engage different topics until lunch.  Today\'s topic was 'The bishop and Social Justice,' when we focused on the Millennium Development Goals.  After lunch we start our self-select engagements on a plethora of relevant mission and ministry topics in the Anglican Communion.  This is followed by evening prayer, dinner and 'fringe' events.  Today\'s fringe event was a reception for Bishop Gen Robinson, which was well attended.  It was a holy session.  I got back to my single room in the basement of Rutherford College at 10:15 PM, exhausted! 
These past few days have been splendid for the most part.  We had a terribly tragic event in our family, though.  Roja, who has been in Virginia and New Jersey with the boys, called to inform me that one of our nephews, a young man in his early thirties committed suicide.  It was devastating to hear this news and then figure out a way to connect with family members to offer solace as best as I could.  It has been difficult engaging my own feelings about this especially with Roja so far away.  She arrives Friday morning.  Can\'t wait to hold and comfort each other.
Sunday was absolutely dreamy, vesting in the womb-like Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral and processing with nearly seven hundred bishops from around the world!  It was an amazing liturgy celebrating many tongues and traditions.  Bishop Chickera of Sri Lanka preached an inspiring sermon of hope, healing and possibilities: http://www.lambethconference.org/daily/news.cfm/2008/7/20/ACNS4438
After this magnificent liturgy, I was able to join thirty three bishops at Beverley Meadow for an intimate and profound Eucharist of solidarity with Bishop Robinson.  That evening we came back to the Big Top for our Plenary session when Archbishop Rowan introduced the conference--remember we were on retreat the first three days of the conference.  Since then we have also engaged the themes: Bishop and Anglican Identity and Bishop as Evangelist. 
The design process is working so far with good substantive conversations.  The design is set up to get us energized around missional aspects of our ministry as an Anglican Communion.  I hope that by the grace of God\'s Holy Spirit we will stay with that telos or goal in our vision for this gathering.  From what I have gleaned through my informal engagements most bishops want the Anglican Communion to remain intact so that we can engage God\'s mission in this era of globalization.  The various aspects of mission represented here are staggering and it would be a missed opportunity if we left here without claiming a ministry of mutuality and purpose to heal a broken world.
Tomorrow is London Day when we leave early to walk the Walk of Witness as bishops of the Anglican Communion to draw the attention of society to the Millennium Development Goals targeted to halve extreme poverty by 2015.  We will then meet and have tea with the Queen!  We are to go in our purple cassocks for these events.  Since it is supposed to be a hot day, I really wish we could have several thurifers go through us to take care of the odor issue.  I also wish I could have arranged for Prince to play Purple Rain!
Thank you for upholding us in your prayer.  You are constantly in mine.
VIII Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, NY