primate sightingYesterday 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.