Sunday, 25 May 2014

Finding ways forward

I haven't been blogging properly for quite some time, the reasons for this are mundane and not worth outlining.   I haven't been reading blogs or facebook or keeping up with anything that has been going on in the Christian blogosphere. To tell the truth, this lack of time to keep up with  things has been accompanied by a  growing lack of interest in what is going on and I see this as a positive. In fact, when someone told me this morning that all forty four dioceses have now voted in favour of women bishops, it was news to me!
Nonetheless it was good news and when I did have a quick browse through the blogs I haven't followed for some time I found more positive news from the Church of Aotearo, NZ and Polynesia whose synod has voted to look into developing a liturgy for the blessing of same sex relationships. A heartening aspect seemed to be its positive reception among both conservatives and liberals as there was a promise to protect the integrity and place in the Church of both those in favour and those opposed. I think one of the difficulties around the admission of women to the Episcopate has been the cleft stick that any concessions to those opposed has meant a diminishing the authority of women bishops.

A few months ago I was reminded of Robert Frost's poem On a Tree Fallen Across a Road. Frost is fascinated by our journey through life and with how our choices and decisions make us who we are. The tree is, of course, a metaphor for the obstacles we all face and how conflict and difficulty can work as opportunities to reassess our way, exercise ingenuity, thought and skill and through that process learn "who we are". I am offering it not as a thought on women bishops or any of the obstacles affecting the Church (sorry that this is a bit of a random post!) but as a much broader reflection on how the need to find a way forward to all sorts of difficult situations can be a positive. I hope you like it!

                                        On a Tree Fallen Across the Road

The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not bar
Our passage to our journey's end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are


Insisting always on our own way so.
She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,
And make us get down in a foot of snow
Debating what to do without an axe.


And yet she knows obstruction is in vain:
We will not be put off the final goal
We have it hidden in us to attain,
Not though we have to seize earth by the pole


And, tired of aimless circling in one place,
Steer straight off after something into space.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Let's celebrate!

There's already been quite a lot of reaction to the  Reform press release on the twenty year celebration of the ordination of women priests. It is full of silly and weak arguments which can't really even be dignified by the word "argument"- they are more whiny petulant comments along the lines of "why aren't we celebrating the women who make the tea after service? Apparently they are not worth it! Why aren't we celebrating men? Apparently they are not worth it! 

The greatest revelation for me is that it is women who are responsible for keeping the church roof on. No really, it is our heroic efforts which keep it where it is (it must say so somewhere in the bible...)

"Every day hundreds of thousands of women serve their church families; they serve the sick , the elderly, the housebound (etc)... they ensure the roof stays on..."

There you go. Let me never hear it said that Reform is sexist after that testament to the keeping-the-roof-on abilities of women. Let's have a service to celebrate!

Arch druid Eileen sends it up better than I can here.

A church with no women

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Arriving late

I'm loving Ben Myers Church Attendance Manual: Part one is a guide to arriving late.