Christ reaches out in embrace
This week the General Synod of the Church of England, led by both Archbishops of Canterbury and York, has voted to permit the blessing of same-sex relationships. This is a significant decision of Church doctrine and, as a consequence, some members of the Church of England will no longer feel able to be ‘in communion’ with other members – within congregations and across parishes and Dioceses.
Anticipating this, the Church of England initiated the Living in Love and Faith program to facilitate congregations in learning how to live together in, yes, love and faith – not despite but because of differences in how they interpret who/what the church may or may not, ‘bless’. Harbour Churches has committed to engage with this process through the Being Human sessions ably led by Dr. Susan Monks, our licensed Reader.
On Sunday I will speak to this as your Rector. For now, I want to invite you to reflect prayerfully on those two words ‘exclusion’ and ‘embrace’ in and through two things which may seem almost trivial in the face of matters of doctrinal integrity, namely: toys and toiletries…
From this Sunday and with a special focus on Advent Sunday, all Harbour Churches are invited to donate new toys (for children of all ages) and toiletries (ladies) to support, this Christmas, the work of My Sisters’ House, a charity based in the Chichester and Bognor area which supports women and their families who are victims of domestic abuse.
Our contemporary conversation so easily weaponizes words – even God’s living Word. As a church family, full of differences and potential divisions, we show time and time again through acts of loving kindness, the embrace which is found in Christ to any who find themselves excluded.
As Rector, I am so privileged to have the care of a church which, yet again, will be Jesus in and for the world.
Bless you for being a blessing.
PS Please pray too for Justin and all who shepherd the church.