Live from the "Ecumenical Service" in New Orleans

I”m sitting here in the Convention Center down by the banks of the Mississippi River listening to a Gospel Choir as folks find their seats. Ian Douglas and Josephine Hicks are sitting behind me.

It’s opening with Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation. There is a processional. I’m going to stand up to take some pictures.

The auditorium is full – so far it’s being run like a traditional Episcopal service. LATER: Now that everyone has sat down I see it’s not full. The far left and far right are open.

Up on the platform are different leaders of religious organizations – but on one side of the podium is Katharine Jefferts Schori and on the other side of the podium is Rowan Williams.

I don’t know who this is praying right now, but he’s praying to Jesus. At some point I’ll look in the program and see who it is. He is praying in the name of Jesus – it makes me realize how different Episcopalians are. This is Holy Ghost prayer. Love it!

Now here’s KJ Schori. She’s reading from the Gospel. This is a form of evening prayer that they are doing.

I did three “Quick Captures” of Rowan Williams talk. As soon as they are loaded I’ll post them. Right now the Diocesan bishops are pesenting gifts to the Diocese of Lousianna. I see the two bishops who signed my Episcopal Confirmation card when I was received into the Episcopal Church twelve years ago, my former rector John Howe and my former bishop, Peter Lee.

Rowan talked about how we are grateful for the others in our lives and when they are not there, we feel that loss. New Orleans is a city where people are missing, people who used to be here and are now gone – where the old no longer sit and the children no longer play. That is so right, this city is missing people. You can see evidence that they used to be here but now they are gone. What life is here reflects what used to be here in abundance. That is such a picture of the Episcopal Church, but Rowan did not say that. But that’s what I saw as he spoke.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

This may be the best part of the entire night – perhaps even of the entire time in New Orleans. Irvin Mayfield is playing the trumpet, A Closer Walk With Thee. It’s fantastic – just fantastic.

I cannot even find the words about how amazing he is. WOW!

Now this is CHURCH. A few eople have fallen into the aisles and are dancing to the Saints Go Marching In. Their headed toward the podium.

Yes, we’re in New Orleans.

Bishop Jenkins said he warned the Archbishop of Canterbury that the only Elizabethan part of this service would be him. Now Rowan is pronoucing the blessing.

Amen.

“Go and seek the peace of the city where God has sent you,” Rowan said.

The recessional is “We’re Marching Unto Zion,” and the people sing as the cross goes out.