Monday, 24 June 2013

Thinking about July

Yesterday's reading from Galatians made me think of this post from the Blue Eyed Ennis site ( I can only link to it as the video is not available to post but it is worth watching.)
 Reflecting upon the "in Christ there is no male and female" verse inevitably made my mind turn to York Synod this year and wonder what the weekend after next will bring. First of all, I am not going to Synod this July; the decision not to go was partly because we originally had a family occasion planned that weekend, but, when I found that this event had been rescheduled, I still felt that the right thing to do was to bow out this year. I felt this despite the fact that the deliberations of Synod Chamber could well lead this time (I hope) to the admission of women to the Episcopate. In retrospect, the defeat of the legislation in November may well turn out to be the single most helpful thing that those opposed could have done to bring about the admission of women on equal or near equal terms.  Opponents are very likely to find they have been hoist with their own petard in that November represented the most generous offer ever likely to be on the table and there is every indication that the Church is now going to proceed only on terms which are much more palatable to supporters of women bishops.
One reason I chose to bow out this year was that I have lost any real enthusiasm for working within the Church of England to change it. November revealed something to me about the inflexibility in certain parts of the Church and I can't see any major movement on this. If, despite the support of the majority of the Church, we cannot achieve an equal position for women at a point when this is so widely accepted as right and proper by most of society, then what hope is there for the full inclusion of LGBT people in the foreseeable future? I don't see much hope on that front.
Regarding the inclusion of women, I do hope that the legislation will be approved this time (I think it is only due to be approved and then it is voted on at a later synod - but I haven't been closely following this, so am not quite sure.) More than this though, I hope that there will be healing or at least not too much bitterness and that both sides will know that they are "all one in Christ Jesus". The weekend after Synod I am going on retreat- this year I am involved in helping to lead worship and prayer sessions, something I feel quite nervous about but am glad I am doing because it seems a positive thing to do.

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