Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 10--Sabbath Rest

Sunday was a day off. We had a late breakfast and then headed in buses to the cathedral for the 11 AM worship service. Quite a few bishops attended, but not all. The Archbishop celebrated, and the Dean preached. Before the service we had about an hour of quiet time to wander around in the crypt and in the cloisters. It was very peaceful and relaxing. After church, the Dean put on a very excellent barbecue for about 500 people on the cathedral grounds. The food was fine (I especially liked the strawberries and cream for dessert), but the weather was very hot and humid and people sought out the shady spots rather than talk with one another. We spend the afternoon walking around the town. Our first stop was to hike out from the city about 1/2 mile to the church of St Martin. This is the oldest continually used church in Britain, already in use when St Augustine of Canterbury arrived in 59 I have been here before and find its charm, size, and simplicity a welcome contrast to the splendor of the cathedral. It has been reworked many times, but in the video I point out some sections of the wall from the original church on that sight. Laura and I were joined by Marty Burnett(Nebraska) and Mark Lawrence (S.Carolina). The church warden unlocked the building for us and just before we left a group of young people were arriving for a christening. I wonder just how many baptisms have been done there in 1400 years? After a long recovery stop over at Starbucks(airconditioned!), where we read the excellent London Times interview with Gene Robinson ( RECOMMENDED!), we joined many of our bishop's class and spouses for dinner. We went to the Cafe Belge, noted for the 50 different ways they serve mussels, one of Laura's favorites. We have just now returned from a warm evening stroll around the town and are ready for bed. Given the heat, we are really glad we bought those fans in Woolworth's back in St Alban's! Since there were no business sessions today, there is not much to report as to the progress of the conference. I am feeling more optimistic that we will have some kind of a meaningful statement to make when we get done, some of my friends are feeling less so. The next couple of days will be very important. In the meantime, it was great to take a breather. >


Pondering the Word said...

Again, I appreciate the videos and the commentary...I hope the last week goes well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all your great sharing and reflections on the journey. I almost feel like I am there! Loved the tour of the church today. We continue to keep you in our prayers at St. Mark's. May God's grace continue to fill your time together in Bible Study and Indaba as God continues to weave you together in bonds of unity and affection. May these bonds hold strong as things get more challenging in the days to come. Love and Prayers are with you both. Faithfully, J+