Following the brief program, we enjoyed fellowship and lunch in Lambeth Palace Gardens. I took the time to visit the palace library to enjoy the rich historical documents so important to our communion. As I saw up close a copy of one of the first Books of Common Prayer and reaquainted myself with some of our history up close and personal, I was once again reminded that this is not the first time that the church has been in conflict. The way in which we approach our current issues seems to me to be at least as important as how they are resolved. In fact, we still live with some of the unresolved conflict from the past which is part of who we are.
Later in the afternoon we enjoyed tea with the Queen and her one thousand closest friends. Standing in the gardens at Buckingham Palace watching the Queen of England make her way through the sea of bishops, I wondered if anyone could have imagined this kind of Anglican Communion in the 16th century. I wonder, even more, what it will be like at my fifth Lambeth Conference. My role is one of committed wondering. Ultimately, God will shape the future. I, for one, am glad it's not up to us.