July 15, 2008

A Collect for Lambeth

An essay by Douglas LeBlanc, “Lambeth unplugged,” was posted to Episcopal Life Online today, the day before the opening of the 2008 Lambeth Conference. In it, LeBlanc laments the fact that reporters have largely been excluded from all but plenary sessions at Lambeth in the past, and plenary sessions have been de-emphasized in the 2008 program. “I hope this year’s conference,” he writes, “will allow journalists to do what they do best: function as observers who capture the mood of an event by describing what they see and hear firsthand.” Trying to control the information available to reporters is unworthy of a church and distorts the perception of events, he notes.

The essay got me thinking about Lambeth in a new way, which is to say, other than with fear and trembling. Many have suggested that we pray for the bishops attending the event, but LeBlanc reminded me how frustrating and arrogant it is that Anglican bishops too often meet in secret and without the counsel of priests, deacons, and laypeople. This gave me an idea for a different sort of prayer, and so I offer the following

Collect for the 2008 Lambeth Conference
Eternal God, who is revealed to us in the written word, incline the hearts of our Anglican bishops to allow their conversation to be observed and recounted; and may those entrusted with telling the story of their efforts be faithful in their accounts, insightful in their observations, and blessed through their involvement; that your servants may become better able to contribute to the mission and maintenance of the Church of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

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