Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Anglican Communion Pilgrimage (Days 1 & 2)


I use this image of the lamp in the room where St. Jerome wrote the translation of the bible. It represents who we are as the Anglican Communion. All different pieces bound together and the light in the center is Jesus Christ. It is the light of Christ shining through each one of us, that allows the darkness to recede.

Due to the extensive work during this pilgrimage, I may not have the opportunity to share as much as during the diocesan pilgrimage. I will make every effort during those brief free periods to update on the work we are called to undertake. The Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion invited me on this pilgrimage in preparation for Lambeth in July of 2020. I am the only Bishop from the United States and the Episcopal Church. I have been moved by the depth of relationship building during my short time here. I am surprised by the thoughtful questions and sincere desire to learn about the Episcopal Church and our country by our sister and brother Archbishops and Bishops.

I was scheduled to leave Philadelphia on Wednesday at 6:20 p.m and the flight was delayed two hours because of storms over the airport. As of the result, I missed the connecting flight to Tel Aviv from Heathrow. I spent 9 hours at Heathrow waiting for the next plane to Tel Avis. I must say it is hopeful to walk around an airport and simply watch the beauty of humanity. We boarded at Heathrow for the flight and were delayed on the tarmac for 2 1/2 hours and as a result, did not arrive at our quarters located at St. George’s Cathedral until 2:45 a.m. I was a bit jolted reading the schedule where our work began at 7 a.m.  I also received a text from Jude at 4:15 a.m. asking for the Netflix password; time difference son, time difference.




I will not go into all the details fo the first day; however, I was touched by one of our visits today. We traveled to Tekoa the home of prophet Amos. We walked the mountaintop where he tended sheep and traversed down a deep cave that is almost a pristine representation of the cave (inn) where Jesus was born. It is relatively untouched and hidden, and Canon Peterson has worked extensively within this cave. It is also the abandoned 4th Century Byzantine Church of St. Amos.









It is difficult to describe the emotions and presence. Those words from Amos 5 while standing on his fields:

 “10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth. 11 Therefore, because you trample on the poor  and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone,    but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards,    but you shall not drink their wine. 12 For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins”

and,

14 Seek good and not evil,    that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,    just as you have said. 15 Hate evil and love good,  and establish justice in the gate;

 24 But let justice roll down like waters,   and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.


Looking upon the Holy Land upon a windswept hill, I could not help but reflect on the poor, how ego's power, dominion and violence seem to be the narrative.   How the voice of Amos calling us to God. Understanding that God has called us not only to be in a relationship with the Holy One (God) but also to be in relationships with others. Holy work as we prepare for Lambeth and look to one another as God’s beloved.

I would like to share the list of those on pilgrimage, and it represents the meaning of our communion and the work in preparation for Lambeth 2020.

The Rt Revd Andrew Asbil, Bishop of Toronto, Canada and Mrs Mary Asbil

The Rt Revd Victor Atta-Baffoe, Bishop of Cape Coast, Ghana and Mrs Dorcas Atta-Baffoe

The Rt Revd Marinez Bassotto, Bishop of Amazon, Brazil and Mr Paulo Bassotto

The Rt Revd Dhiloraj Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo, Ceylon and Mrs Harshini Canagasabey

The Most Revd Albert Chama, Primate of the Province of Central Africa and Mrs Ashella Ndhlovu The Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General and Mrs Comfort Amina

The Rt Revd Daniel Gutierrez, Bishop of Pennsylvania, The Episcopal Church, USA

The Rt Revd Robert Innes, Bishop in Europe and Mrs Helen Innes

The Rt Revd Danald Jute, Bishop of Kuching, S E Asia and Mrs Julita Jack Sungul

The Most Revd Paul Kwong, Primate of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui

The Most Revd Maimbo Mndolwa, Primate of Tanzania

The Rt Revd Lydia Mamakwa, Bishop of Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh, Canada and Mr James Mamakwa
The Most Revd Donald Tamihere, Primate of Aotearoa NZ & Polynesia and Mrs Temukisa Tamihere
The Rt Revd Margaret Vertue, Bishop of False Bay, Southern Africa

The Rt Revd Ellinah Wamukoya, Bishop of Swaziland and Mr Okwaro Wamukoya

The Rt Revd Joseph Wandera, Bishop of Mumias, Kenya and Mrs Brenda Khanani

The Rt Revd Philip Wright, Bishop of Belize, West Indies and Mrs Carla Wright

The Most Revd Dr Tito Zavala, Primate of Chile and Mrs Myriam Ahumada

 Our Chaplains and staff are:

The Revd Canon John Peterson, Former Dean of St Georges College, Jerusalem (’82-’94) and Secretary General of Anglican Communion (’95-‘04)
The Revd Philip Jackson, Vicar Trinity Wall St, New York
Mrs Louise Redfern, PA to the Secretary General, Anglican Communion Office

Via Dolorosa, Tour of the Dome of the Rock, Relationship, Back Home.

My sisters and brothers, I returned from the Anglican Communion Pilgrimage late yesterday. This pilgrimage and every pilgrimage has the...