Bishop Iker Writes His Clergy
GAFCON came along and so I was off to Jerusalem for that very important international meeting that lasted for a week. I am very encouraged by what came out of the GAFCON experience. The meeting itself, along with the pilgrimage aspect of visiting a number of holy places, was very inspirational and renewing. The Conference has offered a helpful and faithful vision for the future of Anglicanism, and I am excited that our diocese will be a part of it.
After a few days back in Fort Worth to catch up on bills and mail, we were off to Canterbury in early July for two-and-a-half weeks at the 14th Lambeth Conference of Bishops. I must say it was very different from the last Lambeth I had attended in 1998, which had been a big boost and blessing to me as a bishop. This one was an exercise in frustration, with long days of endless discussion and reports, in a carefully orchestrated and highly controlled agenda that would not allow for any decisions to be made. We met in a highly contentious time in the life of the Communion, which has been divided and torn as never before by actions of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada. This was underscored by the absence of nearly 25% of the Bishops of the Communion, representing more than half of the entire membership of the Anglican Communion, who boycotted the conference as a protest against the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury to follow through with proposed disciplinary measures. At the end of the day, nothing was decided or accomplished by way of settling the divisions. Instead, it was hoped that we might continue to work and talk together as the future unfolds.