After breakfast, I absented myself from the Eucharist (see yesterday's entry) but sneaked back into the back of the chapel in time for the day's retreat meditation from Mark Beckwith, Bishop of Newark. His assigned theme was "Interfaith." That sounded a little odd; "interfaith" is usually an adjective that modifies a noun like "worship," or "relationships," or "cooperation," or some such. He recounted his experience of living as a child in a very Jewish suburb, a very WASP suburb, and then in Japan, where he dabbled in Buddhism. If I understood him correctly, he invited us to be open to finding Christ on the margins of our experience, on the margins of the environments in which we live and work. As per the established pattern, we walked back to our plenary room for table discussions. I have to confess that, while interfaith dialogue and cooperation in certain areas is probably a good thing, as I triage the demands on my time and attention, it's safe to say I will likely never find it to be the best thing or the necessary thing. There's too much else that is more urgent. Or so it seems to me, at any rate.
Following lunch, I had time for a vigorous half-hour walk around the lake, which felt good on another very nice day (after the morning gloom burned off).
The afternoon was devoted to consideration of the report from the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC). This was done in plenary presentation, plenary discussion, and table discussion, and we spend three and a half hours on it. I have already written a longish evaluative analysis of this document upstream on this blog, which you can find here. I haven't really changed any of my opinions, so I'll simply mention that I got up during the plenary session and reiterated by point from the blog post that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) should not be given an exemption from the plan to sunset all committees, commissions, agencies, and boards (CCABs).
At 5:00 we heard from Sam McDonald, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Church Center in New York ('815'). He took us through a slide presentation on the current state of churchwide ministry and mission.
The time slot after dinner was dedicated to various interest groups, so I hung out, naturally, with my Communion Partner colleagues. CP is dedicated to fostering the highest degree of fellowship possible between TEC and the other Anglican Communion provinces, especially those in the Global South, and advocating continuously on behalf of the Anglican Covenant. We had some strategizing to do as we look toward General Convention.