A few of us met today to discuss how we move forward after General Synod. We represented a variety of views on full inclusion of same sex couples and believed that there were no winners from what occurred in Winnipeg. What we also agreed on was that we need to move forward, together, with our diversity.
Let's face it. This particular diocese has had a bad rep for a number of years regarding collegiality and some of us are tired of that. We need to learn to work together as God has called us. The atmosphere of General Synod inspired a sense of what was possible here in spite of our differences. It won't be easy but we aren't starting from scratch. We're not sure where to begin but we are sure that we want to begin.
Today we met to see if each of us thought it was possible to move forward. Each of us believe it is. We do so tentatively, feeling our way. We have the summer to pray and think about possibilities. Through it all is the awareness that there are those whose lives and faith are majorally impacted by what has happened or not happened. As a group, we want those people to know that they are in our prayers. Each member of our gathering spoke about acknowledging and respecting where people are and what pain they may be experiencing as our church struggles to find its way.
On a personal level I gain hope that this is something that will be looked at with caution - proactive not reactive, but not rushing ahead without consideration. Our goal is not to change each other's minds but to find a common language with which we can learn and work together. It is our hope that if we can do this as a group, we can reach out with hope and experience to others.
Why am I part of this group? I was asked partly because of my connection with Integrity with hopes that we can build some bridges and maybe even establish some grounds for trust. I think that it helps that I have had close working relationships with another two of the members who met today. I was able to speak on behalf of Integrity over their concerns about recent events involving them and I hope that we will find a way to meet the needs of Integrity as well as respecting the concerns of others.
Do I have concerns about how this will play out? Of course I do. As do the other members. But we are taking it slow - one step at a time - trying to build our own relationships. We accept that we have much to do and it won't be accomplished overnight. We accept that we are only beginning and trust must be established first. We accept that we must start out small, working through trial and error what might be ways forward. At the moment, we are not getting into things at a deep level - we can't until trust is established. We use laughter and off topic tangents to keep it from getting to intense. We share what we are able to share, leaving many things for future meetings.
I ask your prayers for us in the coming months.
Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie +