Comments: GS: Sins of the Synod

Giles Fraser often writes good common sense.

His musings about Synod parallel my own about church life and dynamics.

We have churches that are being "cleansed" and the opponents cite how they have diminishing numbers. I wonder if people from outside realise that is because people leave a church where they are insulted from the pulpit most weeks. In fact, I have a very close friend who has bonded with a new man whose mother was a devoted Sunday school teacher until the hate sermons became too much.

These souls left the church, but God is still very active in their lives, and my friends wax lyrical how God brought them together earlier this year. They did not need a church to know and trust in God. They both left church because they were tired of being insulted. They both hold in contempt churches who cite the salvation that comes through Jesus but then deny that it applies to souls in their own parish.

Are we trying to build civilisations or return to plundering barbarianism? Civilisations involve interacting with the people on the streets, not worshiping an elite on high mounds removed from the masses.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Saturday, 14 July 2007 at 12:01am BST

I note with interest the Church Times (online) report waxing both lyrical and hypercritical about the great pastoral need, the relaxation of the Marriage Regulations will meet at a stroke.

And what's more, it also represents the most wonderful evangelistic opportunity we are told.

Also married couples may now, perhaps, stay together that bit longer, before breaking up.

What of the pastoral needs of same-sex couples ? Are we not to be vouchsafed this gift of staying the course a bit longer ? And shall not, our souls be saved or at least battled for ?

When I see the open, public vibrant gay and lesbian cultures thriving all over the UK these days (since the government gave up on jailing us); and the wonderful young people living creatively in this society that was virulently anti-gay only 'the day before yesterday' I can't believe the Churches are so mean spirited and short-sighted.

My life partner of 34 years ( in August) and civil partner of one year (come August) have given up on the C of E in disgusted disbelief. How long would have had to wait for pastoral care and the rest of it ? As an ordained person myself, I had hoped to be the recipient of pastoral care and not just working my b---s off for others--- marrying them, christening their children, turning up at hospital in the middle of the night (etc); and all possible because of the loving and practical support of my partner.

We have now turned to the Society of Friends to have our pastoral needs met, and are to have a meeting for worship identical to a marriage celebration at the meeting house (yes, in August). Yes, and I am able to give as well as receive in my (relatively) new, spiritual home.

But what about the millions lgbt people -- young and older and their needs ?

Posted by L Roberts at Monday, 16 July 2007 at 5:37pm BST

"I had hoped to be the recipient of pastoral care and not just working my b---s off for others"

What is the Christian calling, for all of us, not just clergy, if not to "work our b---s off for others"?

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 17 July 2007 at 12:56pm BST

The point Ford is that care needed to be reciprocal. Another word for what I describe is abuse. Can you try a bit of empathy?

Otherwise you are rather belittling my experience of being hurt and unsupported. Do you intend that?

I don't buy into the Christian masochism thing either. Let's all keep our integrity shall we. Keeping one's balls, indicates an important boundary.

Posted by L Roberts at Tuesday, 17 July 2007 at 6:42pm BST

"Can you try a bit of empathy?"
I apologize for the lack of it in the previous post. It has actually been on my mind since yesterday, and I regret having been so flippant. It was pretty insensitive of me, and I shouldn't have posted it.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 2:42pm BST
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