Interesting day tomorrow – my second Diocesan Synod and on the first anniversary of my consecration as bishop. It will be an interesting event. For a small church, we have huge levels of involvement from some very able and committed people. But I have to confess to some of the feelings which were brought on by the annual Easter General Vestry when I was a Rector. I would tell everyone how important it was and how I hoped they would all be there – while secretly hoping that it would be the usual faithful 50 or 60. Best sign of a contented parish – a big attendance usually meant trouble! And ‘Any other Business’ was dangerous, dangerous …
Well – they can be the church at its flat-footed worst. I can think of synods where I really began to feel that the experience was that of slow, lingering death. They have to do business but they can do it briskly. I think the big thing for us – smallish and widely scattered – is to get the encouragement from all being together and seeking renewal of our common purpose in mission.
Our synod last week made me feel like a 16 year old, rather than the jet-lagged (New Zealand the previous day) 60 year old I am.
Question: is it in fact childish to expect some of the excitement of faith to surface at this kind of meeting – do we need grown-up (and often dreary) mores to prevail?
If it’s the only way to keep things working, then fine. But if I were a genuinely young person I’d run a mile.
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