Before the final plenary, I just wanted to capture one or two comments from my final indaba group. Whatever document there is to be will have been produced now, and it will not please everyone. I would guess the only way forward will be to try and grasp things on a meta level; to affirm what we do know. We are committed to staying together as a global communion, and to working it out locally. Other optons include split or centralise and keep the lid on the discussion. Neither of those options strike me as fantastically discipled or honest. Nous verrons.
So, in closing off the indaba process disquiet was expressed about the lack of closure (something I can live with in an open ended process). What comes out of this conference is us, as renewed disciples. The authority of the output will come from the fruit of the Spirit, and the capacity of this commitment to being together to spread virally. Powerplays and politics won’t build the kingdom anyway.
The fact is, one brother pointed out, we are exactly where Rowan promised we would be in the letter of invitation we all received. We have decided, said another senior brother, to sit closer to God and give each other space for true understanding and honest resolution. It is a recall to basic gospel principles. Jesus didn’t start a political movement or issue books of rules — he made friends.
Finally, in a gracious moving contribution which expressed serious reservations about the Covenant process and its possible development, another bishop celebrated the glory of learning how to be the friends Jesus called us to be, and said that the great gift of this assembly had been the beauty of istening to each other.
So the next time people come out of your PCC or synod meeting saying it was glorious, and its true beauty was that of listening lovingly to God in one another, youll know that the spirit of this assembly has begun to infect your PCC or synod! After 30 years of Church meetings, more of that going on, in itself, would be a pretty damn amazing outcome...