24.5.11

Times Square and the Empire State building and 'ecclesiastical polity'



Continuing Indaba Encounter Social network and Blog Policy:
These thoughts are my thoughts alone and do not represent my diocesan team or the Indaba project.  


A really varied day yesterday. The Bronx zoo in the morning. It is amazing how the walking and talking works. You know, if you find you might have said something a bit off or unusual, there are plenty of diversions to distract and then move on. The gorillas there put on a glass-thumping display.

We headed there because the zoo was in the Bronx from where we could visit a school program running from a church. The priest-in-charge was a real inspiration and talked us through the prophetic significance of one of the pieces of stained glass before describing her church's foci - big on social justice issues, particularly where it came to the care of children.

After this we visited a theologically conservative, politically and socially liberal parish with a dynamic and foreward thinking priest. I hope to tell you more about his vision and have talked with him and sought his permission for sharing his thougts here and a facebook friendship is beginning. I have wanted to explore how to communicate Christ's hospitality and inclusivity with an attentive reading of the Bible as God's Word and truth. He articulated what I have been searching to articulate.

One idea from scripture keeps recurring for me during this process- "look intently" and even though this process is about speaking and is the extension of a theology about listening (although we are listening for various emphases), there is a metaphorical and real intentional looking which is causing me to reassess some of my thinking. It's with slight trepidation that I consider how profound an effect this might have on me theologically and I am no way near able to process all my thinking. ...it is also so messy, I am waffling privately elsewhere which will spare you the contradictions and unreconciled half-thoughts.

Meanwhile stuff moves on. I am caught up in this for the while but the issues on the ground make for interesting reading. It would seem that some are 'disappointed' about what we are involved in.

Re some of the issues, impact on mission might be keenly felt in some places and less so in others. I need to catch up on the blogosphere and Thinking Anglicans. My ears are more alert and my eyes are more intently looking but my legs are also killing me, three years on your bottom reading about it, does not prepare you physically for walking it out - I feel as though I have treked across half of New York and of course, all of that is done in heels so it's hard on the knees whilst sparing those underused muscles that would suffer if I pounded the 'sidewalks' in flat 'sneakers'.

I know I am going to return exhausted and I am hoping I can hold some of this whilst I squeeze out two more college assignments before July 3rd is upon me and I begin to put more of this stuff into practice. I am learning a lot about mission. I am also learning that there are many different interpretations of that very word!

Today Ground Zero, Trade Centre or 9/11 - interestingly, it would seem that there are different resonances for the way in which it is referenced.

I wonder how it will feel after the death of Osama.

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.