The conference ends in four days time and concern that there should be a ‘product’ from the Conference is mounting. I find it ironic that whilst such concern comes from across the spectrum of opinion here, it includes those who are convinced that the church must not be influenced by contemporary culture. Yet this idea that you cannot meet without a purpose and an outcome is totally driven by contemporary culture, influenced by an economy which only values an activity if it ‘feeds the bottom line’.
It is regrettable that over the years The Lambeth Conference has become associated with some kind of legislature for the Communion, with its resolutions being given the status of law….the question “do you subscribe Lambeth 1.10?” has at times taken on a McCarthyistic character. So an expectation has developed that on Sunday evening we will be coming down the mountain (well, hill actually) on which this campus is set, with tablets under our arms having solved questions about the use and interpretation of the Bible which have challenged the church throughout its history.
In a world which falls so far short of what God intended and with so many people, each made in the image of God, not sharing in the God-given blessings of life, we need to value people of faith coming together to renew their commitment to God, to each other and to building the Kingdom of God. We will have totally sold out to the ephemeral values of our age if we fail to celebrate the intrinsic value of worship, prayer, study and the recommitment of bishops in mission to their leadership of the church, as it works for the Kingdom of God.
The work to gather the reflections from all the Indaba Groups goes on and the panel, which has been drawn from the groups, has been working into the night drafting a communiqué which will reflect the work which has been done within those Groups. It will provide an important record of what has taken place here – but for me, the real product has been what has occurred within the Conference, which has no cash value, but ‘feeds the bottom line’ of a Church which works in the power of the Spirit.