Lambeth has started in earnest. After spending 2+ days in retreat, the opening worship was held today in Canterbury Cathedral. There are lots of great stories about how important the retreat time was to setting the tone for the conference, and about a willingness to be open to one another and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
There were also a few (very few) comments in ENS reports of bishops commenting on the absence of Bishop Gene Robinson. "Bishop Mark Beckwith, of Newark, noted the singing of the hymn 'All are Welcome' after communion, but referred to the exclusion of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, who is in a same-gender partnership. Beckwith said, 'my heart was broken because, in fact, we are all not welcome here.'"
+Gene asked for prayers in his own blog, Canterbury Tales from the Fringe, noting the he has been surprised at the difficulty of being cut off from his colleagues. I trust he'll share his observations of the Inclusive Eucharist that was held this afternoon.
As we pray for all the bishops gathered in Canterbury, let's add a particular prayer for +Gene. It seems to me that he is in the unique position of bearing the burden of exclusion which so many people on the margins experience regularly. It is an imminently priestly act, though I cannot imagine an easy one, even for such a deeply committed priest and bishop as +Gene is.