Yesterday the church passed a motion at our General Synod that actually has a name it is called A way forward – He Anga Whakamua – Na sala ki liu. It provides as way forward for the blessing of same-gender relationships. You can find it here – http://www.anglicantaonga.org.nz/Features/Extra/Anga
We are now assessing the work. What might we say? ….
Beauty is a funny thing. It is so hard to convince another that what you see is beautiful. It is often said that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
I think the Anglcian Church that I belong to may have done a beautiful thing yesterday. I am not sure. Perceptions around time might be a key part of the assessment.
I used to live on Waiheke Island before the Fastcat ferry service. On a bad day you would get the old Baroona Ferry rather than the Iris Moana. This meant another twenty or so minutes added on the journey and close to three times as long as it takes today on the Fastcat. Sometimes the time it took on the beautiful old Baroona was greeted with only groans.
The hard thing for a good many friends of mine is that the change towards blessing of same gender blessings is just going to take too long. The desire is for faster change. For good or ill, the Anglican Church is the Baroona. It only goes so fast.
Yesterday we came to an agreement about seeking a way to hold our church together while also anckowledging that we have two distinct and opposing views about same-gender relationships. But ‘agreement’ makes it sound cheap – an exchange of goods, of marbles in the playground. Will it be just an exchange of beads and blankets or a gift that holds grace? I hope and pray that it is the latter. It felt like that in the midst of our life at Waitangi.
We all know that art works can be as absurd as Marcel Duchamps’ ‘Fountain.’ Where the ‘work’ is placed can change everything. So it is with the document we have produced yesterday. I think it is very fine, but perhaps because I am reading it in one place. That place is in a hugely diverse church, a church that stretches across many nations (some of which still criminalize homosexuality). Impossible diversity on one level.
Finally, many of the best art works have the capacity to take us places – expand the heart and mind. I hope that what we have produced will take us to new places. Most of all I pray that it will take us to a place of celebration of the lives and loves of GLBT and those who are beautiful in their sight.