Saturday, 8 December 2012
Well time has yet again flown past me and here we are at the beginning of Advent- of waiting. In the past weeks since I last posted I have continued with funeral ministry, school assemblies, an RE day in school where 5 and 6 year olds spent the day learning about the Bible, planning Christmas services, taking part in three services each Sunday- and preaching at some of them and visiting people. I have also been to the Dioscesan Clergy Conference which came only days after the vote re women Bishops, and have also attended a number of training days. My life is as full as ever and as we move towards Christmas gets even fuller- and as a resulkt I lose the sense of waiting, the sense of wonder that should be part of the advent time. I even had to miss the advent carold service at the main church last Sunday as I was on duty in one of the villages switching on their Christmas tree lights and so singing chritmas carols. Thvious two years I sang in the college choir at tAdvent carol service and it really set the mood for Advent , so I was left feeling slightly bereft this year. however I did enjoy the service in the village and know that team ministry with 10 churches does mean missing certain things occasionally. Waiting is also of course the theme after the gebneral Synods vote on Women Bishops. I had mixed feelings about the vote and am still not sure how to exptess them. That we will have women Bishops in the future I have no doubt. That we will have to continue to wait- yes. That work has to be done for those who cannot accept women Bishops an even bigger yes. It was their provision that the vote fell down on. It is very hard as a women to hear that your ministry isn't valid, buthaving in my distant past had leanings both to anglo catholicism and conservative evangelicalism I do understand their point of view. How we can ever reach some form of provision that all will be happy with I don't know. I certainly wouldn't want to see Women Bishops as a second class role. Having said all that I have no desire to be a Bishop and in some ways would actuially be glad for the whole discussion to go away and just allow me to carry on as a priest doing what God has called me to. However as part of that calling is to bring Good News to all people, the churches view of women as expressed by the vote calls into question how it can be good news to women in our society today. Lots more reflecting to be done.