I have just finished a ten day consultation with 24 clergy here in St Georges House – a fascinating and moving journey for us all.
Here is our aspiration as set out by my colleague Hueston Finlay:
To try and speak of God is, unavoidably, to work with words and images carved from the world’s wood, the territory of the familiar.’ Nicholas Lash may be right. But speak of God we must and to speak of him consistently, coherently and convincingly is what we have been called to do’.
During our Core Clergy Consultations participants come together to consider a theological response to some of the issues facing our contemporary world. Each Consultation in the series asks the key question: How do you speak about God?
We wish to encourage ordained ministers from different traditions to come together to enter into lively and engaging conversation.
Such conversation will mean you are refreshed and reinvigorated, ready to return to your place of ministry speaking more confidently and convincingly about God.
I had a fantastic group of clergy and we travelled far and wide – listening, laughing, challenging and questioning one another. We shared our experiences and convictions; our hopes and fears.
Here are a few things that I have learned ( but it will take much longer to process all this) and questions that I shall continue to ponder thanks to my group….
- Diversity of perspective is an undervalued Anglican strength
- Words are many, and they have a power to transform
- Do we really understand our aspirations ? What does God want us to be in the world?
- What brings us to life?
- Revelation comes as we struggle with words
- Difference is always present – it is built into us and community
- We need to attend to our unease and insecurities
- We should foster the poetic
- We should help people always to tell their own truth
- We should have greater courage to express who we are
- What we have can hurt or heal
- Words are soemtimees an escape
- Playfulness is the space that is more open
- We should laugh at ourselves more
- How much knowledge do we really need?
- We should all manage a less hectic life
- We should be more realistic about what theology can or cant do!
- What are th ewords that theology does not yet know it needs
- Some things are best left to others
- There is hope for the Church…..
I will pause there and may return ……. but in the meantime Thank you!