Today the Church invites us to remember and celebrate the life of William Wilberforce, whose work as a prophet so challenged the accepted ethics of his day that they were changed forever, and so at the Eucharist this morning I found myself reading
"There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus..."
Wonderful, inspiring, beloved words....but painful this week, when divisions seem to loom in all directions...
There have been some thoughtful and helpful posts (try Rick's Green Grass - and the commments too - or With a Song... for expressions of bafflement and disappointment, or more philosophically A Church for Starving Artists to name but 3) as well as a huge upsurge of anger and grief in response to Archbishop Rowan's comments on General Convention...
I'm struggling to discover where the Rowan Williams I've long loved and admired has gone to...and what can possibly be the right way forward for those committed to an inclusive church but still working within the ever harsher reality of the Church of England.
I have not an heroic bone in my body, but I can't see where people like me belong (straight, married, "safe" in every way except for my convictions...)
Will there be an inclusive C of E, with alternative ArchiEpiscopal oversight? ...
How have we found ourselves so far off course that it is possible to even begin to imagine a world in which ++Rowan might find himself aligned with the churches of the Global South?
I am not sure whether I'm more sad than scared or vice versa - while recognising that for the majority in my congregations this whole thing is a complete non issue, so remote from their own concerns that they'd not begin to understand that it might be a make or break matter for their priest....
And as if that wasn't enough, this week we've heard (here for example) that Blackburn Cathedral has decided to offer two versions of the Sacrament at Sunday Mass. If you prefer your Communion with no risk of female taint, then it is possible to join a queue for elements from the Reserved Sacrament, guaranteed to have been consecrated by a man even when the President at the Sunday Mass is a woman.
What price Galatians 3 now?
eta Thanks to Sarah for alerting me to a very helpful reflection by Scott Gunn here
I'm not sure how much better it made me feel, but at least it offered a respite from some of the vitriole I've encountered on the net this week.