Yes, I am here. I'm writing at this moment from the press room at Lambeth. The first thing I did was to go to a press conference with Jane Williams, the wife of Rowan Williams, Jenny Te Paa, and Dr. Maria Akrofi, the wife of the primate of the province of West Africa who is also a medical doctor from Ghana. Of the three, Dr. Akrofi was impressive. The bulk of the questions from the press went to her - her presentation and the way she answered the questions were authentic, down to earth, honest, real, and compassionate. She was awesome. Later, as I went to checked in for my press credentials I was introduced to her husband whom I remembered seeing his picture at GAFCON. I told him what a great presentation she did. The contrast between her the processing ideology of Jenny Te Paa was like day and night. If you were in trouble you would you call? I'd call Dr. Akrofi.
Apparently there might be something going on up at the front lawn. I'm off to check that out.
LATER: Nope, well - did see Bishop Ackerman who said that the Episcopal bishops met with some Global South bishops for some conversation. But there had been an expectation of a very different type of event. There was quite a host of media that showed up, but no party.
It was well, surreal to see a lot of the usual suspects, the folks we see lurking about the newsroom at General Convention all here. I'm hiding behind sunglasses because my eyes look like they've dropped into next week. But this is quite different than General Convention, as well all know. Walked by the Big Blue Top (it actually has two tops) and it's located behind a security detail that reminds me of Washington after 9-11, with the big white tents and check points, only instead of sending cameras under people's cars, they've constructed a tall wire fence. The security detail are quite pleasant though - kind, but firm.
Was walking back to the newsroom in the Darwin Building (yes, that's what the building is called - the Press Conference room is in the "Missing Link" building - I kid you not) when I passed a door to an office labeled "Darwin Chaplaincy." Had to laugh - if I didn't know what the name of this building was I could only guess at what a Darwin Chaplaincy would do.
Tonight is a big address from Rowan Williams. There's more going on of course, but can't write about that. Not yet, anyway.
Speaking of reconciliation ... flew over from DC to London last night surrounded by teens taking part in the Ulster Project in Cleveland. It brings together Catholic and Protestant young people to spend four weeks together in in Cleveland. They were an active bunch, very entertaining and they didn't fall asleep until just before we started to land. But I enjoyed them - had a great conversation with one of the organizers in the seat next to me. We talked about how it used to be and how it is now and that even though the checkpoints are gone and it's so much better - there are still tensions. Still, it is quite an amazing story to see these young people - Rowan Catholic and Protestant being goofy and laughing and carrying on through the trip. I couldn't help but enjoy the joy - it's a far cry from the bomb blasts that used to cloud young people's faces with pain. But now - they are truly friends.
Maybe we should pack up the 800 Anglican/Episcopal Bishops and send them to Cleveland for four weeks and put the Ulster Project in charge. Of course, it might mean they'll end up with face painting and a decorated t-shirts, but it might beat what's going on here.