House of Bishops meeting heads into the weekend
Episcopal Life has a section devoted to reports out of New Orleans. Episcopal Life notes that the "House of Bishops sessions reflect 'passionate commitment' to Anglican Communion."
Jim Naughton and friends at the Episcopal Cafe, have an excellent roundup of the ongoing newspaper and wire service coverage. Thinking Anglicans also have compiled a list of resources and reports.
The Church has scheduled official news briefings, so keep an eye out for reports of these, which tend to come late in the day before dinner.
In attendance are more than 100 bishops from The Episcopal Church, their spouses, and friends and partners from overseas, making this certainly one of the largest such meetings in advance of the Lambeth Conference next year.
The meetings begin today with Bible study led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. As befitting his office and what is no doubt a deep well of good will towards both the office and the man himself, the Archbishop has been met and will continue to be met, "with great respect and hospitality," according to ++Katharine.
The Archbishop will meet with the bishops and other invited guests for the entire day today. They will discuss a variety of subjects, including the recently proposed Anglican covenant and the Primates communiqué. The communiqué made certain requests of the bishops and set a September 30 closing date for their response.
Yesterday, the Archbishop toured the Lower 9th Ward and blessed the foundations of a new church going up. The Lower 9th Ward was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Katrina Recovery Center at Episcopal Relief and Development provides information and resources about ERD's partnerships to serve people affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The Archbishop then participated in an evening interfaith gathering at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, which celebrated the "Resiliency of Spirit in New Orleans," according to the Diocese of Louisiana, the host diocese. The Diocese has resources at its homepage about the meetings, including special events churches are holding.
The Archbishop departs New Orleans tomorrow afternoon, to begin an official visit to Armenia, Syria and Lebanon.
The Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates will attend the sessions today, at ++Katharine's invitation. The Joint Standing Committee is a committee composed of members from the primates group, as well as the ACC.
On this committee for the primates, are ++Katharine; the Archbishop of Wales, who in advance of his arrival in the U.S., noted that the proposed Covenant as it is proceeding, is not a good idea; and the Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia, Archbishop Philip Aspinall of Brisbane, who before leaving Australia, said that "No-one is expecting a quick fix and once-and-for-all solution for all time from the meeting this week in the United States. Rather we hope that in conversation and prayer and mutual discernment, we might be able to see constructive next steps."
Other invited guests in attendance include the Episcopal Church's elected representatives to the Anglican Consultative Council, Josephine Hicks of North Carolina, and the Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas of Massachusetts. The Episcopal Church is also represented on the Anglican Consultative Council by New York Bishop Suffragan Catherine Roskam, who is present in New Orleans as an active member of the House of Bishops.
House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, also invited by the Presiding Bishop, will be present at these meetings as well.