This is the first full day of GAFCON. I’m currently sitting off to the side in All Saints Cathedral, watching the delegates, volunteers, and Bishops gather for the opening Mass. I’m told that about three-fourths of the Anglican Communion is present . It certainly sounded so yesterday when they read off the countries with delegates present. If all goes to plan, all the bishops present will process in at the beginning of the Eucharist, which will be a very visual reminder of this. There are a number of North American Bishops present; I have personally seen Mark Lawrence, William Murdoch, Donald Harvey, Charlie Masters, John Guernsey, David Hicks, Jack Iker, Eric Menees, Ray Sutton, Robert Duncan (though the archbishop had to return to the states for emergency dental surgery, and will miss the conference) and others whom I recognize, but don’t know. At Mass on Sunday, Phil and I had a bishop sit next to us; he introduced himself as Archbishop Peter Jenson, Sydney, ret.
As we came onto the cathedral grounds this morning, we were informed of the various seminars which we have been placed into. I was happy to be placed into a seminar entitled, “The Challenge of Islam: The Gospel, Islam, and Freedom,” which will be taught by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.
So, there is a new book by J. R. R. Tolkien, an apparently unfinished poem about King Arthur.
The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur, king of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skillful achievement in the use of Old English alliterative meter, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, of the great sea battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle.
Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that Tolkien abandoned. He evidently began it in the 1930s, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him, “You simply must finish it!” But in vain: he abandoned it at some unknown date, though there is evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that he “hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur,” but that day never came. ….
I’m not a fan of beer, personally, but this is cool, especially since it serves the double purpose of evangelization and self-sufficiency. Plus, my beer making friends should appreciate it.