US & Sudanese Primates worship together

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, primate of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori took part in the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist at Salisbury Cathedral on July 13.

Episcopal News Service reports that the liturgy was part of the pre-Lambeth Conference Hospitality Initiative. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the bishops of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) are visiting the Church of England's Diocese of Salisbury and participating in the life and ministry of the city's historic cathedral in its 750th anniversary year. An ENS photograph shows Bul and Jefferts Schori before the procession int the historic cathedral.

The report, below, describes Jefferts Schori's preaching schedule yesterday:

Preaching at two services on July 13 and offering reflections at an 8:10 a.m. morning worship service, broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 and available as an on-demand audio stream here, Jefferts Schori spoke on the themes of planting seeds, growth and abundant life. The Presiding Bishop also preached during a 4 p.m. Choral Evensong, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and available as an on-demand audio stream here.

During the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist, she said that it is surprising how seeds planted on seemingly unsuitable terrain can often "bear good fruit."

"Loosening the soil so that it might be fertile terrain has a great deal to do with softening our own hearts," she said. "When we’re certain that this person or that can’t possibly be a God-bearer, it is our own soil that fills with rocks, or grows massive thorns. It is a particularly religious, and Christian, challenge, for we search endlessly to be certain that we are doing 'the God-thing' right. But when we get too certain about God and God’s judgment, our soil [is] turned over by the surprising love of the gospel and the unexpected nature of divine economics."

The ECS bishops are visiting Salisbury for a two-week pilgrimage to celebrate their church's 35-year partnership with the diocese.

"This is a defining link and we have been deeply affected by our partnership with the Sudan," said Ramsbury Bishop Stephen Conway, a suffragan bishop of Salisbury, who was participating in the day's liturgy. "Thirty-five years is just the start."

Bishop Anthony Pogo of the Diocese of Kajo Keji said it has been very fruitful to renew the partnership with the Diocese of Salisbury. "This partnership for the last 35 years has been very important for the growth of the Kingdom of God in both Sudan and Salisbury," he said.

Speaking about the Lambeth Conference, Pogo said that he hopes the once-every-decade gathering will "help to maintain the unity of the church. He also hopes that the more than 650 Anglican bishops attending the gathering in southeast England "will talk to each other and listen to each other as we address the challenges that face the Communion. We want to see the Anglican family staying together. When you are in a family you don’t agree on everything, but it is important that we maintain the unity of the family."

Read the whole story here.

Today's Daily Episcopalian features missionary Lauren Stanley here, who serves in the Diocese of Renk, Sudan.

Comments (1)

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul's oldest son Peter is a student at Guilford College, where I teach, and was in a class of mine last year. He's a rising senior and I think his younger brother may be coming here. He's a wonderful young man. I had the pleasure of meeting his mother, Deborah, when she visited last fall. This was before her husband was elected archbishop.

It is good to hear about the sharing of prayer, and to remember the church in Sudan, which is laboring heroically.

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