Thursday, July 08, 2010

Oh no...not again

The Church of England - my spiritual home, the boat from which I fish, the organisation that puts a roof over my head and food on my table, - is once again in the news for the saddest of reasons.
On one hand, General Synod meets tomorrow and will vote yet again about how and whether the Church is prepared to ordain women to the episcopate....Yes, they decided in favour 2 years ago, - but, where two or three are gathered together in synod there is always room for dissent, for second thought, and for volumes of nastiness.
On the other, a bit of what appears to be malicious reporting has led to futher misery and vitriol hurled at the rather wonderful Jeffery John, Dean of St Albans.I came within a whisker of rethinking my future on the eve of ordination at the time of his earlier persecution at the hands of the Church. Now we are trudging wearily around the same withered mulberry bush - and I really don't know if I want to continue.

Maggi Dawn has a great post up, with links elsewhere, if you'd like a fuller briefing.
Me, I'm contemplating the daily tasks of ministry while wondering whether the Church really wants me to minister at all.I'm proud to be liberal. I treasure my priesthood. But the Church that ordained me seems to have a very different agenda.


Red said...

I know what you mean, makes you wonder what you are part of. I mean, do these people just throw their faith out of the window in these discussions? Where is God in all of this?!
I'm not surprised though, are you? ;)

Slow of Heart said...

Not sure we can blame the press for any vitriol be hurled at Jeffrey John, Kathryn.
The bile is in the hearts of those who simply cannot accept that homosexuals, whether celibate or not, are God's children just like the rest of us, and not some spawn of the devil who need re-creating out of their nastiness.
Just thoroughly disappointed that Rowan didn't drive this appointment through.

Still Breathing said...

I am not an Anglican but of the very few blogs that I follow 3 are by female Anglican priests and the way you are being treated makes me very angry. The proposal to make women a different type of Bishop a) doesn't make sense, b) diminishes your priesthood and c) makes the CoE look very backward and unwelcoming from the outside.
Having said that my sister-in-law is a Baptist minister and found it hard to move church because of the number of churches who wouldn't accept a woman in ministry so we have some of the same problems.
God bless all women in ministry.

Kathleen said...

Thinking of you all.

Song in my Heart said...

You won't stop ministering, whatever the church (or any church) thinks about it. It's part of who you are, who God calls you to be and your answer to that call, and no institution can take that away.

I decided that holding myself hostage from an imperfect church would not help the church and would not help me. Your priesthood, as well as that of a number of other women, was a big part of that decision.

The issues and complaints I have with the church in general and the C of E in particular are ones I think will not even be discussed seriously in my lifetime.

I am praying about General Synod, as you might expect. I have also decided that regardless of the outcome, for the time being I am going to sit tight and stay put. I have work to do. I will keep doing it until I am asked to do something else...

None of that, of course, means that you should stay where you are.

I would be sad to see you leave the C of E, and not a little lost, but -- this should go without saying but I will say it anyway -- whatever you discern is the right path to tread, you will have my moral support, whatever practical support I can reasonably muster, my admiration and my love.

Songbird said...

Love you, k, hope things go better than expected tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I truly believe that no one can impede what God needs done - God has called you to be priest, and whether the Church of England (or the Vatican for that matter) wishes to support or decline that call, God will out. As CS Lewis said (in a somewhat different context), "God, if I may say so, is very unscrupulous..."

God has called you, you have answered generously, with open hands...may God's grace be upon you and all you serve and all who serve with you.

Anonymous said...

I am a Catholic convert, from Methodism but spent many years in a combined Methodist/Anglican congregation. I was always bewildered by the vitriol some issues created for some people ... even so small a thing as singing psalms.

I did learn from this that the church (whether a whole communion or a small community) often departs from Jesus's message of love and tolerance and understanding. And in the midst of that the best I could do was to stay as true as possible to the Lord's love as I could. It was sometimes sad and cold and lonely.

Will pray for you, and the Synod this weekend.

Anonymous said...

You can't blame the Church of England for being so broad and containing a range of opinions some of which you don't like.

It is what it is - and you did yourself choose to join it!

I am not of your persuasion but I am not without sympathy for you and for all who feel great frustration.

For the church to ordain women and then place blocks on their ascent to higher positions is contrary to logic.

I do rather wonder if schism which you undoubtedly would abhor might ultimately provide a solution for all.