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Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

For some of us the jet lag is getting better. For others today, it was unexpectedly worse. Regardless, the day's official events began at 8:30am with the opening Eucharist, and there wasn't a seat left vacant. Bishops and Archbishops filled the chancel, while the nave held the bulk of the delegates. The side chapel and entryways were the next to reach capacity until finally only the covered porch and basement were left for those who arrived late. Archbishop Okoh officiated using the liturgy of his Nigerian province.

Those in the Anglican Church in North America who have a special relationship with Nigeria through the CANA jurisdictions enjoyed seeing Bishop Dobbs distributing communion. Bishop Minns was less visible, but no less important, handling things behind the scenes that few worshipers saw: directing those bishops who arrived late, supporting the volunteers, etc.

Immediately following the service, the Bishops and Archbishops went outside for the group photograph. Well over 100 Bishops in their full vestments, ascended four steps of risers without incident (never a foregone conclusion), the pictures were taken, and a spontaneous hymn of joy was sung. The end of the 'official' picture was the beginning of many smaller group shots, as friends, old seminary classmates, and new acquaintances caught the moment.

Morning Tea provided a nice break, and some caffeine prior to the day's Plenary sessions in the Trinity Center. Attempting to distill nearly 4 hours worth of teaching in this digest would be an impossible task, but in the days ahead, as the lectures come online we will add them to this website. Until then a few of our favorite quotes will have to fill the gap:

"Secularism likes to promote 'liberty,' 'dignity,' and 'equality,' but it doesn't say why they are important. The process of secularization is throwing away our precious heritage." ~ Bishop Nazir-Ali

"If you offer inclusion without repentance, you offer inclusion without forgiveness of sins. The modern West wants the benefits of individual rights but doesn't acknowledge the basis by which they were formed. This is like going out onto a limb and cutting it off of the tree." ~ Mike Ovey

"The world will always oppose the Church, so worldly churches will oppose gospel churches." ~ Paul Perkins

After the plenary sessions, delegates from the Anglican Church in North America came together for a group photo, and much like the morning session, people lingered; not wanting to leave the moment too hastily.

In the evening the delegates who stayed on campus experienced two unique events. First was a surprise visit from the Governor of Nairobi who offered a warm Kenyan welcome to the conference. The second surprise was a few drops of rain that pelted the tent canopy very briefly. We are told that in East Africa at this time of year rain is very rare.

After 12 hours of worship, teaching, and fellowship, delegates returned to their hotels ready for some much needed rest.

Pictures of the days events can be seen on Facebook here.