Native Network Meets despite Travel Chaos: Gathering Focuses on `New Agape'

Article excerpt

Cairns, Australia

Like so many other gatherings in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, a meeting of the Anglican Indigenous Network very nearly fell victim to logistics.

But in spite of all the travel headaches and cancellations, the network managed to gather for what one Canadian called a "hopeful meeting" where participants exchanged ideas about ministry training and initiatives to retain and blend indigenous languages and cultures with church practices.

The network gathering, scheduled to meet from Sept. 16-21 in Cairns, was disrupted in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Heightened security at airports and flight cancellations made it impossible for several members to get to Australia.

In the end, only two of the five Canadian indigenous network members made it (albeit late in both cases) and their five mainland U.S. counterparts were unable to leave the country at all (though five Hawaiians did attend, since their travel to Australia was less complicated).

Many participants also found themselves temporarily stranded after flying into Sydney, when a regional airline, which was supposed to take them on to Cairns, went bankrupt. …