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Douglas A. Stoute

In July 2005, St. James Cathedral in Toronto was the host for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Third International Conference on Afro-Anglicanism. The richness and vibrancy of the two liturgies wove a remarkable tapestry. It was a powerful metaphor for the diversity of the Anglican Church today.

The fabric of the church is being torn apart. The long simmering debate about human sexuality has burst to the fore. Questions of morality, differing interpretations of the gospel and cultural divides threaten to destroy our communion.

We need leaders who can provide inspiration for us to allow the Holy Spirit to weave our differing threads together to make one, far stronger church. The conference operates as a forum for discussion, understanding, prayer, and hope. It did not disappoint.

In his sermon, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town spoke eloquently of the need for tolerance and open heartedness. He spoke in the spirit of Thich Nhat Hanh who said, “To be a real help to your church, you must first light you own fire of understanding love, solidity and stillness. Then you will be able to inspire others” (Living Buddha, Living Christ, p. 69).

The conference was indeed an inspiration to all who work within the global church. The Cathedral Church of St. James was proud to have been a part of it.

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