general synod

This was Facebook post I made right after Synod closed. Somehow the photos from Wei Wei’s exhibition seem right for it … swirling balloons of air around me … it also fits with the Pentecost post that I will put up immediately too.

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I will be driving all day tomorrow…. i may post this on my blog when I get home … but, for now, here we go:

It has been a stressful week at General Synod/ Te Hinota Whanui as the church did church business. A great deal went on, some too hard to describe at this point – because I am still coming to terms with edges of it. I am tired.

The particular issue that occupied much of our time and effort was (again!) matters of sexuality. The fact is that a number in our church beleive with all their hearts that same-sex relationships are sinful. I don’t believe that. Not even a little bit can I believe that; but in this the church (that I am part of) we are divided on the matter. 

I feel that, along with others, I worked hard worked to see a suite of material introduced that would see us blessing same-sex realtionships in our church. That work and that material failed to get the assent it needed. I am deeply disappointed. I am disappointed and even hurt for myself. But, of course, I can’t know (and would not pretend to know) the hurt LGBTI friends are feeling – what it is like to find the church will not accept nor celebrate their God-given identity and the love of their life. 

It is a mighty blow.

It will fall flat to say that the church is committed to moving on this issue. Here in Napier I do believe that it does have that commitment – that is what the words and tears have said. But I have seen and heard it before, so I am suspicious. Much work lies ahead… “…run with perserverance the race that is set before us…” 

I am not done.

The thing that gives me greatest hope at this point is the tikanga Maori and Polynesian parts of our church have said to us Pakeha (white)* folk that this matter of justice will not wait. The metaphor/ image that was set before us by them was that ‘the bus will wait but for one more Synod.’ We were challenged that if some really have no intention of getting on the bus, then, they should say so – work may need to be done help them find a place to stand. 

The strength, though, of our cultural partners, their culture and the dual expression of challenge and love was phenomenal. I felt glad to be part of a church that has that dimension to its life. I have not seen that power from our partners ever before. I can’t say, as some are saying, that I am ashamed of my church because that cultural/ three-tikanga reality is part of my church and it was and is phenomenal. 

I am, however, deeply ashamed that a matter of justice and mercy remains undone. 

* I am aware some of my friends in FB-land will not understand our three-stranded, three-cultured church. Another day I will try and explain – or come visit.

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