"There is a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza; there's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole."
We came to the Lambeth Conference for Anglican bishops amidst a whirlwind: hope, confusion about last-minute changes, confusion about the schedule, anticipation of meeting friends old and new, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Usually this conference takes place very 10 years, but due to COVID-19, it had to be postponed until now. Bishops from more than 150 countries are here, to pray, consult, discuss issues and forge fellowship, meditating this year on the the First Letter of Peter.
In a reflection given the morning of July 28, Professor Esther Mombo of St. Paul's University in Limaru, Kenya, stated the fact that there is conflict and division as well as good faith and commitment in the worldwide Anglican Communion. She posed the question: Do you want Empire, The Church or God?
She further challenged us, regarding relations in the Anglican Communion, with the song. You may know the response to that first verse is: "Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry... ." The song then has a back-and-forth dialogue:
"With what shall I fix it, dear Liza?"
"With straw, dear Henry."
"With what shall I cut it, dear Liza?"
"With a knife, dear Henry."
"The knife is too dull, dear Liza."
"Then sharpen it, dear Henry."
"With what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza... ."
On and on it goes, to the point when Liza says to get some water, to which Henry says again, as at the beginning, "There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza... ."
The point she was making is that we can go around and around on issues but we come back to the fact that we need Jesus at the center of our life, and that we need to fix ourselves by the love of God, and in service to the glory of God.
Please pray for us at the Lambeth Conference, and for the Anglican Communion.
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan
The Rt. Rev. Carol J. Gallagher, Regional Canon
Visit the Lambeth Conference website here.
Find Episcopal News Service coverage here.
Find Anglican Communion News Service coverage here.
Province I reflections, hosted by the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, are here.
Bishop Gallagher is blogging at mamabishop.blogspot.com, of which she notes: "I named it after an incident here [at Lambeth] in 1998. Bishops from Africa and other places called out to Barbara Harris: 'Mama Bishop, go home and take care of your babies.' So in her honor I have written since about 2006."