I was a very good lad at school – never really got into trouble. The only time that I was told off was in a General Studies lesson when I was in the VIth form. We were meant to be working quietly on something but I was on the back row, talking. So I was hauled out and made to stand in the middle of the room for the rest of the lesson – and I was 17! The same fate befell my mother who, in less enlightened days, was still receiving the cane at 15 for talking in class. Those were the days.
So all this emphasis on talking, on conversation nowadays in the church should be music to my ears and give joy to my heart and it’s in conversation that we will begin this second day of this February Group of Sessions of the General Synod. What we’ll be talking about on this occasion will not be sex (I’d use the ‘A’ word if it wasn’t Lent) but our discipleship, faith and spirituality. Being as those are generally not areas for contention this must be a getting to know each other exercise which I suspect will warm us up for the real conversations that will take place in the York Synod in July.
Of course, talking and conversation are not the same thing and I am hoping for good and careful listening – perhaps that was what I was not doing on the back row in the classroom – not listening, just talking.
as I speak today
may I also listen.