Greetings from Soderblom

Soderblom – Room 309 here in the Sigtuna Conference Centre where we are doing Porvoo stuff somewhere near Stockholm. It’s hard not to feel that one is marooned in an ecclesiastical version of Ikea – Soderblom being a stainless steel pedal bin. I fell asleep twice this afternoon in a session on Global Warming in Magnolia. Perhaps not surprising because the temperature was 23C and there is a foot of snow outside.

As you would expect me to say, Sweden is a wonderful country. But before we come back to that … the thing which I do appreciate here is the chance to observe some high quality leadership in the Scandinavian Lutheran Churches. Time to raise the game, I think.

Sweden .. etc, etc. I know they aren’t reading this so I can risk saying …. it always seems to be 1958 in Sweden. There’s a sort of unselfconscious wholesomeness about it which we couldn’t get near in Scotland. There’s money and a homogeneous society and a majority church … but then you find that budgets are being cut by 15% this year and Archbishop Anders is talking about the need to rediscover mission.

Which means that his job is harder than mine. Because it is always more difficult to provide leadership in a situation which is reducing and where people are experiencing a sense of loss. Much easier in Scotland where we are actually getting quite good at being christian community in a secular society. Which brings us to the Pope’s visit to Scotland – of which more tomorrow.

One comment

  1. I’d be interested in knowing, especially given the 1950’s culture Christianity Church that you seem to describe, how the need to missionize is being perceived. Here in Canada, it is my impression that the missional church is a very tough sell for those congregations who seem “stuck in the ’50s”, and when it is pushed, it is perceived as a way to fill the pews (read the offering plates).

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