Monday, 14 May 2012
I have recently returned to the parish from three days at general synod. The time was well spent, it was a very full schedule and yet we were able to engage with some important issues. One of those was that of human sexuality in the context of Christian belief. Perhaps with particular focus on the issues surrounding homosexual sexuality and practice.
I know that much has been said, and much will continue to be spoken, about listening. Personally, I think that this is very important. As a church we must help one another listen to God and to one another. We must encourage one another.
One speaker at synod challenged the synod by saying that any listening process was a waste of time unless we were prepared to admit that the position we hold might be wrong and that we might need to change our position. This is a principle that challenges wherever we are in this conversation.
The Cavan conference was helpful in beginning the process of conversation. For me it was essential that we consider the position of Scripture in the area of human sexuality and prayerfully reflect, and listen to the reflections of others.
General synod may have been based on a different model. However, we have been able to remember where we are as a church at this point in the conversation now. We have been challenged to approach the issue carefully, prayerfully and in humility. And the Church, through Standing Committee initially, and a special committee eventually will attempt to help us travel forwards together.