Wednesday, March 02, 2005

primate sighting

Yesterday I had the good fortune to meet Archbishop Ndungane of Southern Africa, who is on a tour of the US, and is spending a couple of days in St. Louis. He said many important things (and strikes me as a wise and savvy individual, with a good sense of humor that twinkles out of him.) The primary focus of the talk was the Millenium Development Goals, and the idea that if everyone in the wealthy nations (that's us) gave .7% of their income, we could substantially wipe out the problems in the developing world.
But the thing he said that struck me most, that gives me hope, is this: (unfortunately it was during a sermon, so I'm probably paraphrasing, as I wasn't taking notes): The Anglican Communion will go on, he said, because it's bigger than Archbishop Akinola having communion with PB Frank Griswold. The Communion is the relationships that already exist and will continue to exist between dioceses, parishes and individuals, and that cannot be broken.

I wanted to stand up and cheer. Of course he's right. We've gotten so focused on the actions of 38 people in the last week, and of a handful of people in the past year or so. We have the Anglican Communion and it will go on (strains of violins swelling here, I know). We have relationships across the communion, even in our blogging, and nobody gets to take that away from us.

Ndungane is working hard to keep the primates focused on what's important--poverty, hunger, child mortality, malaria. It strikes me that someone who was willing to go to prison for his beliefs (he spent 3 years in prison with Nelson Mandela) knows what he's talking about.


At 6:00 PM, Blogger PPB said...

I have nothing to say on this particular topic, but wanted to drop a note to say I just found your blog and enjoy it. Anyone who describes herself as staff to 2 cats is a cool puppy in my book!

At 7:12 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Well I do have something to say. This blog today for me was like a breath of fresh air. I needed to hear this. Thanks for the perspective.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger James said...

In the reportage about this "schism," I get a definite sense of missing the forest for the trees: what defines our faith is not politics, but principles applied to living practice.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Mitzi said...

I like that little makepovertyhistory.org thingy on your blog - just stopping by to say HI!

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Tina said...

I was fortunate enough to meet him as well thanks to Mike. He was absolutely an inspiring person!


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