We celebrated Eucharist this morning and Bishop Thad Barnum spoke to us. He was impassioned as usual and very emotional. He discussed how even if our anger with others is justifiable, we need to confess it in order for God’s love to flow through us and avoid a root of bitterness.
Thad said that we did not come to Raleigh to start a new movement but to submit to our elders. He said that we are under authority, that is a part of being Anglican. Yes, it is the Quadrilateral, the sacraments and the episcopacy, but it is also submission to authority. He told a moving story of the bishop that he was ordained under, a liberal who tried to discourage him by assigning him a difficult chaplaincy. He wanted to lead an insurgency against this bishop, but his rector told him rather to submit to his authority. He did submit, and God used it to lead him to a place of humility. God worked through this horrible bishop to bring about a good result in Thad’s life. Thad’s emphasis was that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.
He said that we (the bishops) did not come to Raleigh with a plan to give to the Rwandans, but rather to be subject to them and to listen. In this, he pointed out one of the key themes of this conference: collegiality. There was clearly grief on Terrell and Thad’s part, and there was also great honor for our Rwandan bishops who have been so mistreated and dishonored.
When Bishop Rwaje closed the Assembly and issued the statement, he asked the new transitional leaders to come onstage. He then asked Daniel Adkinson from Anglican 1000 to pray for us. This was just another example of the spirit of cooperation at the Assembly, and a fitting end to our time there. The future is yet to take shape, but key values driving the months ahead are transparency, getting feedback from all involved parties, honoring each other and rebooting a humble, Biblical and missionary Anglicanism in North America.
It was good to meet the famous Robin Jordan at the Assembly! I was also able to say hello to Kevin Kallsen, the Tom Brokaw of Anglicanism.
Wendell Kimbrough led worship and did a first rate job. Congratulations to him and all the guys.