For a lay person, there are always pearls to take home from such a conference. Papers are presented, things that are not commonly discussed such as Anglican history are given ample time and detail, and being in a prayerful community makes one eager to learn more in order to move forward in our walk with Christ.
Of course, anytime you can visit Charleston you'll have a good time.
Okay, here are a few pearls, and I don't mean the kind found at the "Noisy Oyster" (please note, my shorthand notes might lead to a misquote here and there):
1) From the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres:
The new things that affected the early Church were dealt with by connections between the churches and a foundation built on the study of Jesus' words and scripture as a whole (from his sermon during evensong).
2) Bishop Chartres (lecture on Bishop Henry Compton):
"The Prayer Book is at the heart of our unity."
"The Prayer Book is countercultural... a sure if not flashy way to heaven and beyond."
"We need to recover engagement with the whole of scripture... not just those parts that are most appealing and engaging."
"...put ourselves under the judgement of scripture, don't tyrannize over the text... the lectionary keeps us from doing the latter."
"'You have your truth, I have mine' is the death of civilizations."
"Pessimism is the luxury of the comfortably off."
3) John McCardell on the Beaufort revival of 1831:
Never pass up a chance to hear about something you know nothing about (U.P.)
4) Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali:
"Christ's uniqueness and his universality go hand in hand."
5) Bishop Mark Lawrence:
"Our focus is on 'Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.'"
"Some storms are unavoidable... TEc charted its course into the storm... nine years later, no port is in sight."
"Who can claim to be Anglican?" (on all the varieties of Anglican churches in his area).
"The Episcopal church's actions are expressions of pure autonomy..." (on the tension between the local and universal Church).
"Veer from the pathway of the Church Catholic... and this affects the whole Communion."
6) The Very Rev'd Dr. Justyn Terry Dean of Trinity School for Ministry:
Joke: A preacher is giving a very boring sermon which so upsets a man in the congregation that the man hurls a hymnal at the preacher, but the hymnal hits instead the back of the head of a woman on the front row. The woman stands up, turns around, and says, "What the... Do it again... I can still hear him."
"We try to reorder ourselves to a distorted creation"
"Walk by Faith and not by sight."
"... to live rightside up in an upside down world" (All on the story of the upside down mice)
"...millions more have died from secular ideologies than Christian ones..."
"The average age of conversion in the U.S. is sixteen."
On the Church's need for $$$, "We want to be fed from silos, God wants to feed us by hand."
7) Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi:
"I know you are praying for us in Nigeria;we are praying for you in America."
"Only the Gospel can teach you to be honest."
"Lead children to Jesus and strong faith..."
If I ever need to convert an atheist, a Muslim, or an unchurched person, I'm going to call Archbishop Kwashi!
8) The Very Rev'd Robert Munday (not a speaker but caught on break when talking about the great weather in Charleston this year:
"And I have to get on a plane to Nashotah today..."