In Praise of the Young, Anglican and Otherwise.
Wandering through the schedule of events / agenda of the Lambeth Conference which begins today, I did not see any subject of discussion that directly referred to the young. No doubt the section on evangelism will ask the question, "how do we reach the young?" No doubt the conversation on sexuality will ask mostly really biased questions about young people, sexual expression and homosexuality. I am almost positive that no young person will be consulted in either case. I hope the good Bishops prove me wrong. Still, my point stands: young people are not there, may be represented, but likely will be represented by people who see them as "them." It's hard for it to be otherwise.
So here's a small note in praise of the young. Here are two reminders of their gifts brought to the world and to each other and to us.
The Episcopal Youth Event, considerably larger than Lambeth (about 1200 people) just took place in San Antonio, Texas. I am very proud that seven young people from our parish and 15 from the Diocese of Delaware made it to EYE. The Rector of all Lewes claims they are wonderful and no doubt he is right. One of the young people from St. Peter's is second from the right on the first row of this picture, taken by ENS, of the design team. Ian Miller is his name. If the Bishops at Lambeth get the message from EYE they will be meeting Ian who delivers greetings from EYE to Lambeth. Go Ian!
While the Rector and the gang were off at EYE I was back in Lewes, the village by the bay and the big waters, thinking of matters across the waters in England and matters as close at home as the next sermon, my mother and life in general.
We have been having visitors including two young girls, 5 and 7, nieces of a niece, making me their grand uncle. We had several art mornings and Suzanna painted a wonderful picture - acrylics on poster board. (NFS). If this is the way she sees the world things are better than I thought.
Maybe the Lambeth bishops will remember that the young sometimes see with the vision that transcends much of what we think of as important and finds a better and brighter hope.
Then again, in all the praise of the Young we ought not forget that being forever young is its own category (with thanks to Bob Dylan for the hint) and if that is so, perhaps the Bishops might be reminded that the young at heart see things we often miss. My mother has produced "Post Mortem Anne: A fantasy" which sets out a series of fantasy / dream / vision images done on a computer using a mouse as brush. At ninety the lines are a bit less fine and the images a bit more jerky, but the vision is fresh and young. Look at the book HERE.
Let us hope that the Lambeth bishops in their deliberations remembers the Young, Anglican and otherwise, young in age and otherwise.