8/14/2010

Mission of hearts and hands is the only news worth printing

unloading flooring
Preludium has not had new posts for the past week.  I've been off with seven remarkable young people and their equally remarkable adult companions (3 plus myself).  We have been on a work -camp mission trip to West Virginia, working with a World Vision project.  

hauling in the lumber for repairs
We were housed in a 4H camp in the hills outside Philippi, WV.   We were without Internet access and cell phone towers. We worked hard all week, did some on-the-ground good, met wonderful people, and learned a lot.  

Taking apart the outer wall to be replaced
The young people were ages 11-13. It was their first work / mission trip and it tested us all in new ways. We took on new skills and reflected on their engagement with the community in which we were working, we lived cooperatively, made group decisions, worked and negotiated with adult supervisors from World Vision, and most importantly prayed and reflected on the Scripture and on the doings of each day together.  It was astounding to see how committed these young people were to the work at hand and life together.  I was proud to be with them.

Children gathering to get backpacks for School
We also had to work through some of the faith perspectives of our group in relation to the faith perspectives of those we worked with in World Vision and in the community.  That was not always easy.  And yet, even there it seems to me we were able to take in what was offered and use what we needed and not get either defensive or offended.  I believe that was true from WV's perspective as well.  

On return I've spent much of today (Saturday) catching up with the week in the Anglican blog world.  Almost nothing happening there that compares with the depth of the work our little band took on in West Virginia.  There has certainly been Anglican happenings out there in the world, but most of them do not get noticed or written up any more than our own small group's efforts do.  

What did get written up was mostly of little lasting worth.  There were bits of sadness - the situation in the Diocese of Pennsylvania seems no nearer to solution, with Bishop Bennison still there, the various legal doings still wander down legal paths to yet more hearings, opinions, court dates.  One of the longest, that concerning  Don Armstrong, deposed in Colorado, has once again involved a postponement of trial. 

Perhaps the most discouraging bit of news is the continuing disfunction of the Archbishop of Canterbury's governance, by way of various instruments of unity,  of the Anglican Communion.  This past week saw yet more efforts to make the best of a confusing mess that grew from the questionable process of adopting a new Constitution for the Anglican Consultative Council. 

The usual suspects got into a snit about the use of  Native American symbols / actions in the ordination of the new bishop of Navajoland and about a video of a "Cosmic Techno Mass" in California. There were the dead of August sorts of things including an essay on the peculiar second bishop of Fond du Lac. August is mostly a dead zone for American and English Anglicans. 

Still, there is an upcoming event worth our attention:  CAPA, the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, will be meeting in Uganda next week and it will be important to see just what 400 or so Anglican Bishops have to say about the future of their work in the various countries of Africa.

But, for the life of me, I can't find anything as important as the seven young people who worked their hearts and bodies for good and in good faith and to a good end.  May they prosper in God's grace.

3 comments:

  1. Me either and may they multiply like loaves and fishes...and yes, it will be amazing to see how the African Anglican Bishops conduct themselves...they are in the spotlight and let´s hope they gain on light, humility (not words) and address REAL issues that concern REAL Anglicans and others...it´s time these men do some heavy listening (other than to the sound of their own voices).

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  2. The "Days of our Anglican Lives" has been on August hiatus. Meanwhile, the rest of "The Anglican World Turns" and continues to do mission as well as corporal, temporal and spiritual works of mercy.

    Amazing how kids can get us off our soap boxes and into the gospel, init?

    Well done, Mark. Well done, indeed.

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  3. When the word "Anglican" only appears in some obscure corner of an obscure church history textbook, Jesus' children will be bringing hope and love in far flung places like West Virginia and Uganda. Thank you Mark.
    Earl Beshears

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