Saturday, July 05, 2008

GAFCON: A Life Changing Experience

Been spending some time talking to those are now back from GAFCON in Jerusalem and hearing their amazing stories - and there are so many stories not only in their words but in their faces. They are radiant! Their stories are filled with examples of how the journey changed their lives - a simply extraordinary event, a real pilgrimage. Indeed, you can see it on the faces in this video. For every person we see - and some of the photos include over a thousand people - for every person we see there are stories of how their lives were changed in Jerusalem. What is God doing?

On a lighter note, I heard one story about a grand attempt to gather everyone together for photographs. The delegates were being asked to group themselves by province so that a photo could be taken of each province, but the delegates were so mixed in with everyone else that moving 1,200 into provinces became an effort of momentous proportions. They were having too much fun.

The first step was to get everyone's attention (a challenge in itself), then ask everyone to group themselves into provinces (which meant they had to stop talking to each other and start moving), and then they had to figure out where all the provinces were. It took a long time just to get people to listen they were having so much fun (no wonder Jesus called us all sheep) and by the time some had started to form groups, it was challenging to figure out where you actually belonged.

Cue the Australians. They came up with a brilliant idea to find all the other Aussies that were deep in the crowd enjoying themselves. Their province started to sing Waltzing Matilda and it wasn't long before all the Australians were gathered and carrying on with round after round of Waltzing Matilda. Not to be outdone, the Ugandans starting singing a Ugandan chant and it wasn't long before the entire conference was a mass of singing.

And it worked. They got the photos.

And so in honor of those innovative Australians - thank God you are here! - we offer this:


Anonymous said...

Yes! Let's keep praying now and through Lambeth.

Hold up the Cross all you who go to Lambeth...don't blink, flinch, give ground. Hold fast to the Truth as you would the Cross in the Processional.

To God alone be glory, honor and power, now and forever, to Him be glory in the Church. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I posted the following to my fellow clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese of Pittsburgh

"BabyBlue Online, a blog hosted by Mary Ailes a longtime member of Truro Church in Fairfax VA posted the following video montage on GAFCON. It was quite moving for me as I recognized so many friends and colleagues in ministry. Read her commentary and then view the video. It's not General Convention that's for sure!"

Thanks, bb

David Wilson

Unknown said...

God bless you, David.


Anonymous said...

My husband said that our rector was really energized this morning at the men's discipleship meeting. He and his wife were at GAFCON and we're praying that what they experienced in Jerusalem will be contagious!

Anonymous said...

Now you have went and done it. Everytime I hear Waltzing Matilda, I keep having the song run thru my head for hours.

Anonymous said...

Cute story. I reckon it worked because Australians understand sheep very, VERY well....