At the Lambeth conference, which meets once a decade [and last met in 2008] bishops from the 38 provinces of the worldwide Anglican communion gather to think, pray and talk about sex.
— Christopher Caldwell. Financial Times 11 July 2008
Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let’s talk about sex for now to the people at home or in the crowd
It keeps coming up anyhow
Don’t decoy, avoid, or make void the topic
Cuz that ain’t gonna stop it
. . . Let’s tell it how it is, and how it could be
How it was, and of course, how it should be
– Salt n’ Pepa. “Let’s talk about sex”. Blacks’ Magic, 1990.
There is something hypocritical in Christians holding up their hands in pious horror at the excesses of what is called the permissive society, when they themselves down the ages have tried so hard and so persistently to keep God out of sex. It is a harvest of their own sowing that they are now reaping, and the hell they abhor is in large part a hell of their own lighting up.
— H.A. Williams. The Joy of God. London: Mitchell Beazley, 1979, p. 40
Any time you’re Lambeth way,
Any evening, any day,
You’ll find us all
Doin’ the Lambeth Walk. . . .
Everything free and easy,
Do as you darn well pleasy,
Why don’t you make your way there
Go there, stay there.
Once you get down Lambeth way
Ev’ry ev’ning, ev’ry day,
You’ll find yourself
Doin’ the Lambeth Walk.
– “Lambeth Walk” from the musical Me and My Girl (Lyrics LA Rose and D Furber, music by N Gay, 1937)
I have frequently recalled Desmond Tutu’s simple and wise description of the Anglican Communion. “We meet,” he said. Full stop. That’s what we do. We hold a common belief and hope in the Risen Christ, and because we care for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, we meet. We meet, and let God’s Holy Spirit work among us, to allow us to see our common humanity, and to discover the Christ in “the other.” While that might not look like much to the rest of the world, it is an amazing “product.” It is precisely what we need during this difficult time. We don’t need – perhaps cannot possibly discern – the answers right now. What we DO need and CAN discern, is that we are all in this together. That God IS working God’s purposes out, even if we can’t always see it. Even if we are in the midst of conflict and pain.
… and the Australian contingent included two women, Kay Goldsworthy and Barbara Darling.
Speaking at Lambeth, Bishop Gene Robinson was wrong on at least one score. He said, “Cricket is a game with impenetrable rules and played solely for the purpose of confirming that Brits are superior to the rest of the world.”
Rather, cricket is a highly intelligent game, devoted to confirming that Australians are superior to the English.