Thursday, July 9, 2009

An illicit photo

Okay, time for True Confessions: we were specifically asked NOT to take photos during this morning's Eucharist, but I didn't listen. This is a photograph of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, delivering a truly inspiring sermon on the importance of setting aside individual agendas for the common good (almost as impressive as his speech last night, which you can (and should) read about here) to the Episcopal General Convention in Anaheim.

And he is standing in front of the absolutely GORGEOUS reredos created by Mel Ahlborn, the president of ECVA, for use at Convention. Her Ubuntu Reredos consists of 5 separate multimedia shows (each one will show twice over the 10-day course of Convention) developed to portray the work of several artists (yes, I am one of them); each show is displayed on three giant screens which sit at the front of the hall in which we hold our daily Eucharist, and they all look like huge stained glass windows; they are breathtakingly beautiful.

Back to that rebellious spirit that chose to take this photo -- in my own defense, I will say that my camera does NOT use a flash, and does NOT beep when it shoots, focuses, opens or closes, so it was as unintrusive as I could possibly make it -- unlike the hundreds of cameras that were flashing as he walked into the ECW Triennial hall this morning to deliver a brief meditation on the importance of church women through the ages in delivering the best of what the church has to offer.

I had not encountered Rowan Williams before; my last experience was with Archbishop Carey, who preceded him. I will say without any reservation that I was very impressed: he spoke well and beautifully, without mincing words, about some very hard things, and I found him honest, inspiring, and very theologically grounded. He also had one of the most beautiful speaking voices I have ever heard, so all in all it was wonderful to be here and to have a chance to hear and meet him; one of those rare times when I found myself honestly proud to be a member of the Anglican Communion, and a reminder of why it is I continue to return to this troubled church of ours even when I sometimes want to throw up my hands in disgust at all the divisiveness.

Ah well, back into the fray. Thanks for listening!


kimquiltz @ an oft traveled road said...

I'm so glad you broke the rules, I am so glad to get to see this picture and hear that you are enjoying yourself. It looks so beautiful, how could one resist a photo???

kimquiltz @ an oft traveled road said...

You can find the AC's Eucharist meditation here