Friday, 18 July 2008

This is the quiet season...

of the Church year, when summer hols mean there is little in the diary. Unless of course you are in an ecumenical setting, when it means you are covering for 1 Pisky and 2 CofS colleagues. Then, you end up with an extra Eucharist on Wednesday which involves arriving at the Church to find the Rector takes the copies of the Grey Book away him and you have to remember how to use the 1929 Prayer Book ASAP! Thursday is spent doing your own Missa Geriatrica, visiting the housebound and making connections with the Social work office, plus a Cof S funeral, which you find clashes with jury duties, ends up with 7 phone calls to find a replacement and ultimately means you have to ask the court if you can be excused attendance. Add to that interviewing a Ugandan baptism/confirmation candidate and an hour talking to someone at the FE College you are chaplain to who is having serious problems with the management (whose complaints resolution policy seems to be borrowed from the Spanish Inquisition) and it becomes clear why bedtime was sometime after midnight last night and I was up at 7 and in the office by 10, after making a batch of phone calls from home!

Well, I found a singularly apposite prayer for the Bishops at Lambeth 08 in the 1929 Prayer Book. It's Prayer 20 for Synods and Councils. Apologies for it referring to the Holy Spirit as masculine, but that was the common usage of the day:

"O Eternal God, the fountain of all wisdom, who didst send thy Holy Spirit to lead the disciples into all the truth: vouchsafe that he, being present with thy servants, the Bishops now assembled at the Lambeth Conference, may so rule their hearts and guide their counsels that in all things they may seek only thy glory and the good of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Really appropriate methinks, reminding the holy Synod that they are there to be led into all truth, not their own particular brand of truth, and that they are supposed to be seeking only the glory of God and the good of the Church, not a rebalancing of the power structures to reflect conservative wealth and African numbers. Reform of the structures may be necessary to change from an Africa prays, America pays and the English write the minutes set up, which leaves many grumbling, but it is supposed to be about God's glory, not Akinola's mates egos or KJS's gang getting their own way.

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