Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Big Blue Tent

Those of us who followed the events of last summer's Lambeth Conference well remember the big blue tent in which closed-session plenary meetings were held. Many of us quipped about the circus imagery. Journalists were livid about the security fence and guards that protected it.

Now comes this interesting story from Episcopal News Service, regarding the financial deficit of the Lambeth Conference.

Q: What did the big blue tent cost?
A: $597,000. Yep. You read that right. Over a half million dollars. It's in the ENS article, from a Lambeth report.

The total shortfall for the Lambeth conference was $564,000. And most of that is because the conference organizers forgot to budget for the $597,000 cost of the Big Blue Tent.

The ENS story is well worth reading. The stalwart may even want to read the entire report of the Lambeth Conference Funding Review Group. [But I didn't.]

I remember some discussion in the late summer and early fall of how Canterbury was going to make up the Lambeth Conference shortfall and whether he might ask the Episcopal Church to ante up. Frankly, if they can't even remember to budget for The Big Top ... then all sorts of other questions arise for me.


Blogger Lindy said...

Kind of like not including the cost of a war in a national budget, isn't it?

And, about that tent, is it made of gold? I'm just saying that it doesn't look like a half-million dollar tent to me. Someone should tell +Rowan that you can get awning-type tents like that down at Lowe's for about fifty bucks. Just saying.

3/26/2009 11:52 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

LOLOL! Many of my thoughts exactly, Lindy!

I have a nice 10'x10' pop-up tent I would have loaned them. I bet a lot of folks would have done the same.

Half a million dollars has me gobsmacked.

3/26/2009 11:55 PM  
Blogger Suzer said...


And how many hungry people would that have fed? How many wells could that have dug? How many children might it have bought a school uniform so they could get an education? (That would be about 15,000 kids in Sierra Leone, if you contemplate 2 uniforms apiece at about $15 per uniform.)

These are the moments when I am so disappointed in the church.

3/27/2009 8:33 AM  
Blogger Leonard said...

Did they buy it? Perhaps they can rent it out for other Circuslike self-satisfying events. What about the fencing around the tent? Maybe he can sell that cheap to Orombi for the LGBT Concentration Camp in Uganda.

I hope the ABC doesn´t think he can make another kind of ¨pitch¨ (the one for money) at the Anaheim, Convention.

Still, no word from ++Williams on the anti-LGBT Conference in Uganda which was Church and State sponsored and brought in quacks, as experts, to railroad by fear-mongering, a ¨witch hunt¨ against ALL LGBT citizens at ALL levels of UGANDAN life two weeks ago. Things are bordering on downright dangerous in Uganda (International News covers it) and Nigeria for LGBT Anglicans/others and Rowan says NOTHING!

The ACC will meet in Jamaica in early May...will ++Rowan and 150 others address the largest percentage of HATE CRIMES that are perped against LGBT victims in the Western Hemisphere IN JAMAICA?

Or will ++Rowan remain silent as he did at Canterbury when young Michael Causner of Liverpool was beaten to death DURING The Lambeth Conference?

Rowans ¨Big Tent¨ isn´t so big afterall.

3/27/2009 8:36 AM  
Blogger Liz Zivanov+ said...

Probably _Under the Big Top_ is the most accurate name for that whole event last year. In many ways, better than Barnum and Bailey's!

3/27/2009 3:40 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Suzer wrote: And how many hungry people would that have fed? How many wells could that have dug?

Yeah. I did some math, too. It costs us $19,000 each to dig a deep well in Lui (southern Sudan). The cost of the Big Blue Tent would have dug more than 31 wells -- more wells than the 25 parishes in Lui.

Surely, sometimes the church must grieve the heart of God.

I am also reminded of JaneR's comments on the church.

3/27/2009 10:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

I'm with you, Leonardo.

This strikes me as truly perverse. The Archbishop of Canterbury is quick to speak out on behalf of Jews and Muslims. But when primates of the Anglican Communion launch a pogrom against LGBTs? ... Rowan is utterly, miserably, fiendisly silent.

3/27/2009 10:02 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Yes, indeed, Cranmer49!

The more I see of the follow-on from Lambeth, the more I disdain it.

3/27/2009 10:03 PM  
Blogger Suzer said...

31 wells. And I wonder how many people that could have helped? Let's say there are 300 people in every village -- that would be 9300 people with fresh, drinkable water.

I don't mean to belabor this, it just makes me so angry.

3/28/2009 11:36 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

No apology needed, Suzer. It deserves belaboring.

3/28/2009 11:49 AM  

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