As he looks toward the next Lambeth Conference in 2020, the Archbishop of Canterbury says that “the world … needs the good news of Jesus Christ.” The world “needs to see it in our actions, envy it in our love together, and hear it in our confident proclamation of the good news of Jesus.”

Archbishop Justin Welby made his comments in a video for the new Lambeth Conference website.

The conference will meet July 23-Aug. 2, 2020, primarily at the University of Kent, Canterbury. There will also be a program day in London and two Lambeth Conference Eucharists at Canterbury Cathedral.

“This conference is about listening to God, through Scripture and in prayer and through each other, so we go out with our hearts on fire,” Archbishop Welby said in the video.

He acknowledged disagreements in the Anglican Communion, especially about sexuality and the interpretation of Scripture. “The differences we have are differences within the family,” he said. “They are about how we live as a holy people, how we live in a way that shows we are God’s people.

“We do have very important differences, but we must show that we respect each other as sisters and brothers in Christ, and that we learn to disagree in a way that demonstrates that we love and value each other. … But whatever views we come with, we come to be under the authority of Scripture, and inspired by the Spirit.”

A group of leading New Testament scholars gathered at Lambeth Palace in mid-November for the St. Augustine Seminar, the start of a program of preparing Bible study and biblical reflection for the conference.

The main Bible Study text will be on the Book of 1 Peter. In his video message, Archbishop Justin said that it would “lead us into all kinds of key themes. It leads us especially into the theme of being God’s people, in God’s world, for God’s world. ‘Once you were no people, now you are a people.’ God has created us, made us, changed us, transformed us, and we are to be key in his transformation of the world around us.”

Welby is sending invitations to every active bishop in the Anglican Communion (and each bishop’s spouse). The Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Ireland are working on a hospitality initiative to enable bishops traveling from overseas to spend time in dioceses and parishes in the United Kingdom and Ireland in the days leading up to the conference.

The ticket price has been set at £4,950. A bursary plan has been established to ensure that every bishop is able to attend.

Adapted from ACNS

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