Choreographers need an enormous amount of co-operation from their dancers before the product of their work can be enjoyed by both the participants and the audience. As we get used to the dance of the Lambeth Conference Indaba process, talking and listening with each other, it was apparent today that not all of the performers have learnt the steps of this particular dance. So there was a certain amount of stepping on toes, being in the wrong place, missing the beat and ending up without a partner.
Those who have quickly picked up the steps and dance movements were frustrated at the ponderous footwork of those more used to dancing to their own rhythms. The different styles of dancing have also been apparent, with some are clearly more comfortable with the set pieces of the ballet, rather than the interaction of this participatory dance which is so full of polyrhythms. As with so much about the Anglican Communion, the cultural agenda leads to much misunderstanding and people feeling wrong footed.
So we are still learning the steps and a great deal of patience is going to be needed from those who are keen to get on with the main performance. Those who want to rush ahead before we are all ready may just spoil the dance which has been so carefully crafted for us.
There is a fascinating connectivity between conversations each day – today the word which kept reappearing in the Bible study, at my Indaba Group and then in the afternoon self-select session with Brain McLaren was ‘authenticity’. So my thought from the day is that evangelism has to be rooted in authenticity, lest it just becomes recruitment. I am glad to say that this recognition seemed to be owned from across the cultures of the Communion……….perhaps we’re beginning to dance.