note *I will cover the two Eucharists, but I wanted to do this first- if you don't want to read the post, please do check out the photo at the bottom*
The past few days have been both interesting and very busy. The goings on of a steward are a bit different from those of other participants, as we can be assigned to strange places while major events are going on - such as monitoring a random gate on campus while a plenary session is going on in the big top.
Yesterday afternoon I was assigned to watch the door on a Fringe Event - monitoring who comes in and out. Ironically, it was an event on reparative therapy. Unsurprisingly, there were about 10 attendees, at least four of whom were associated with an LGBT org. Most of the bishops could not attend as it was badly scheduled, but the next day, when the bishops were free, I was told the attendance was only about seven.
Yesterday evening I met with a friend who had just arrived from NJ.
Yesterday evening there was a presentation for Bishops and Spouses on "Changing Contexts: breaking open our models for evangelism" by American pastor and author Dr. Brian McLaren - who I have actually heard speak before. His talk, which looked at different models of evangelism and growing the church while providing an analysis of both problems an doable solutions both on small and diocesan and province wide scales was very useful and interesting.
That ended around 9:45.
Then we had a staff meeting.
Then I had to be on morning prayer duty at 6am.
I was monitoring who came into the building while sitting on the floor of the lobby. After everyone had come in, apparently I fell asleep, which I realised as everyone started coming back down the stairs after prayer.
I had about an hour off before I had to leave for the Spouses venue where there was talk about the MDGs so that the Spouses would understand what they were walking about during the Walk of Witness on London Day on Thursday.
This was followed by a presentation on what to expect while in London.
During the afternoon bishops could choose to attend a variety of self-select sessions that covered topics from Ethical Issues in Global Warming to The Church of the Triune God: Heresy, Schism, and Reception in Communion. I was to watch the door on "Youth: Please Listen to Me... your future depends on it."
I was both surprised and impressed to find it attended by Archbishop Rowen (or ArchieRo as some of the stewards have begun to refer to him -- not to his face of course). I was surprised because the CofE doesn't value or utilize its youth in the same way it does in the USA. There were no press around nor were their any "high ranking" people who would have seen ++Rowan making some sort of overture to the youth. In the CofE acolytes are usually adults and many parishes simply aren't interested in changing their own paradigm to make changes that would interest younger people. I was speaking to an older local volunteer who simply couldn't fathom that young people might be interested, or that we were effectively working on it in the US.
She felt as if she started to get it when she mentioned a church that lets the children help make jam for the church... I let it go... but she was interested.
The group became too big for the room and they moved outside. I ran into a rather lost +Catherine Roskam, and as I was walking her to the place she needed to be I heard: "they've blindfolded the archbishop."
... and there he was... standing in a circle being told directions.
I was greatly pleased with the vulnerability he was willing to share for the sake of the youth.
Please don't steal these photos to make fun of him.
I'm off to dinner with some friends before sitting in on the evening plenary: "Cardinal Ivan Dias - Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelism of Peoples at the Vatican - Mission, Social Justice and Evangelisation."