Whilst the Ladies Singles Final was taking place in Wimbledon we were continuing with our facilitated conversations. As I said earlier, we agreed that no one would Tweet or blog about these. There is nothing sinister in this – believe me – it was so that we could speak openly with one another and know that the conversation was, in that sense, private.
Having been in smaller meeting rooms we ended in the Synod Chamber for a useful plenary session. As we left, people were generally positive – it had been good to talk and air a great deal of what we had all experienced and what is very close to a lot of our hearts. Now we have to see if we can bring something of the feel of today into the debate on Monday. It seems to me that is always the challenge. Talking to one another is always good, but then in the formal debates we – me included – can easily revert to our position and into an adversarial mode. I don’t know how we break out of that, given that the vast majority of us hold strong views on this subject, as on many others.
I’ve just been re-reading the Archbishop’s address to the Synod. It is very encouraging and I look forward to the debate this evening on ‘Progress on meeting Challenges for the Quinquennium’ particularly with those goals of which he speaks. But one passage which really gave me confidence was this
The gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed THE good news for our times. God is always good news; we are the ones who make ourselves irrelevant when we are not good news. And when we are good news, God’s people see growing churches.
Being good news for the world is what we are called to be – being good news for women as well as men, for gay as well as straight, for black as well as white, for poor as well as rich – being good news for the creation as a whole, being good news for those who have never heard good news, or cannot believe that there is good news to hear – that is the vocation of the church. My prayer and hope is that one of the results of this Synod is that we really, as a church, can embrace that truth.
So maybe this is my prayer as I go for supper
Lord, may I speak good news.
Lord, may I be good news.
And of course, congratulations to Marion Bartoli on her victory at Wimbledon.