NYD Webteam: February 2021
The debate at the Darlington District Synod on Saturday 6th February focused on principles of good relating, a statement on cohabitation, the possibility of allowing same sex marriages on Methodist premises, and possible changes to the guidance on marriage and to standing orders.
There is a wide range of views on these issues and there is concern to respect the diversity of view and to encourage respectful conversation. Rev Richard Andrew stated "I must confess to feeling humbled by both the quality and the tone of the debate on Saturday and by a very real concern amongst Synod members to both celebrate our diversity and to hold together even when we disagree, indeed this active work of reconciliation is, I believe, an important witness to the world about how to disagree well and hold together in community."
Rev Richard Andrew went on to state "In recent years we have talked a lot about living with contradictory convictions. I hope that the compassionate and mature way in which Synod members of different views handled this discussion is a model and sign of the future and of the Church we aspire to be, in which all are welcome and in which our diversity, of many kinds, is seen as a gift to share rather than as something which pulls us apart."
Galatians 3:28 affirms that in Christ there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. It is a central text in a gospel of reconciliation. In many respects the universal Church has fallen far short of that vision. May our prayer be that, in a small way, our modelling of what it means to live together with contradictory convictions is a sign of Christ's presence with us.
Adapted from words of The Revd Richard Andrew | Chair of the Darlington District
You may also be interested in
Hear the Easter story from people who work within Parliament. I find it is encouraging in more ways than one. It takes you to YouTube that may contain adverts that may be considered unsuitable for some...
If we can't share the story of Jesus and God's love for everyone at Easter, then, when can we?! Encouraged by Rachel Pinkney, we have installed an Easter Trail along the railings of Gunnerside Methodist Chapel. There are eight simple pictures highlighting main parts of the story from Palm Sunday to the Hope that Easter Day brings to us. The children at the local primary school are being...
I saw this image posted in facebook by Rev Ruth Gee and it spoke to me of a journey. The one that begins when Christ comes into our lives and we cross a makeshift bridge to the land on the other side of the stream. The journey does not end there; it is merely beginning; and challenges lie ahead; there may be a stile or two to cross. We set foot in the green fields beyond perhaps loitering a...