On September 20, 2001, the planned date of the meeting of the Community of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, was radically altered by the events of the previous week. The planned topic was "God's Mission, God's Work in a Global Communion of Difference" which was to focus on reconciliation within the Anglican Communion. World events changed that. The essays of this book are the papers delivered at that meeting which evoked a perspective at once personal and yet global in a new way.
In the chapel where the meeting was held there was a cross with Christ holding a hammer. The Presiding Bishop spoke of this cross as being about the concept described in the Hebrew phrase, tikkun-olam or "repair of the world." The ensuing bishops' pastoral letter to the church stated, "Let us therefore wage reconciliation. Let us offer our gifts for the carrying out of God's ongoing work of reconciliation, healing and making all things new. To this we pledge ourselves and call our church."