Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Launde Abbey

I found the spot at the Abbey that has wi-fi. It's useful for me to cut down the number of e-mails I would encounter if I wait until I get to a hotel tomorrow evening. Launde Abbey is a lovely place. The Abbey sits in a low spot in hills of grass with grazing sheep. Thomas Cromwell took the Abbey as his own home when Henry VIII closed the Abbeys for their revenue. There is a pond with ducks flitting in and out of the reeds with their chicks and the grounds are planted with wonderful flowers. A walled-in vegetable garden is a short walk up a path.

The meeting so far is quite interesting. Aside from praying the Daily Office and eating meals together, we have had two talks of about a half-hour by John Polkinghorne, followed by silence and then we divide into groups of 12 for discussion. It is quite wonderful to be able to talk theology and science with people who are engaged with ideas and concepts such as the interpretation of Scripture in light of scientific knowledge (yesterday afternoon) and today with the concept of the afterlife. Our small group discussions allow us to get to know each other better and of course so do coffee and tea breaks and meals together. There's also lots of time for silence and just walking around the grounds.

Yesterday there was quite a bit of rain. Today is cooler and mostly cloudy, although it looks as though we will get a shower soon.

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