During this morning's blog surf, I found myself commenting both here, and here
that it's disturbingly easy for me think I'd manage to live up to my principles, since most of the time I'm in very little danger of being asked to do so.
This afternoon I have the ministerial review that has been looming for a while. The form to be completed beforehand had some pretty clear categories, but finished with an "Is there anything else you'd like to say?" type question. With the woes of the Anglican Communion heaped about me, I added something about my longing for "compassionate inclusion" and felt as if I might have nailed some sort of colours to a mast.
But of course, as I was reminded by reading Tom's post, I've never actually been asked if I would bless a same-sex couple (this could, of course be because . St M's isn't the sort of church that is brimming over with brave souls who've come out and are asking God's blessing on their love...so the curate can rest secure in the knowledge that she won't actually be challenged to do anything.
Equally, this isn't the kind of community where individuals in need of refuge from a hostile world turn to the church for help (unless you count the occasional visit from Hamish, of course) - so again, I'm safe from having my behaviour actually challenged by reality
In the months ahead, I'll begin the process of looking for a new parish, a new situation in which to try and live out this calling. I've been hoping that this won't be somewhere too comfortable, that I'll find myself in situations where I might begin to bridge the gap between present reality and cherished aspirations.
But if it came to the crunch, I'm very much afraid I might just melt into the background, always smiling a friendly pastoral smile but doing precisely nothing.