Lunchtime treat Tuesday; I got a quick walk on the beach – the benefits of oversight of the Ministry Team in Bream Bay. I walked up a sandhill and that had me reflecting on General Synod ahead – slightly daunting and it is certain that there will be some steps when we just seem to go nowhere and slip backwards instead. I found myself praying for our Archbishops – Philip, Winston, Brown and our General Secretary, who will try and assist them. It will be a heck of a prospect for them at this stage – presiding over some long and (perhaps) difficult discussion. I am also thinking about The Reverend William Yate.
Tomorrow the Pakeha Bishops will gather at the historic Te Waimate Mission Station to spend some time in prayer and a bit of conversation before the General Synod really begins. The Mission Station was founded by The Reverend Yate. He had the vision for the Mission, negotiated the purchase of the land, built the famous Mission House, and was summarily removed from ministry because he was homosexual. His belongings were burned and his horse shot and he was sent back to England.
In the 1830’s the idea of a homosexual Christian was truly scandalous but the response to Yate was violent and vindictive – frighteningly so. While we have changed our attitude somewhat today, GLBT clergy that I speak with are worried about how the church will treat them and what place there will be for them at the close of General Synod. I ask for your prayers for all of us at General Synod/ Te Hinota Whanui and especially for those with most at stake.