Another baptism celebration marked our keeping of the day of the Lord. We reflected on the unicity of Jesus Christ, on the need to avoid distractions from our following him, on the need to approach Jesus the wisdom of God as an active wisdom that flows in our daily life.
It was good to see new members of our congregation settling in and our established members looking after them. It is such a great joy and privilege to serve in this place.
The flourishing of the Gospel that I witness here makes the deliberations of the last session of General Synod even more bitter. However, it is the bread of bitterness that is part and parcel of the Passover. I am at a loss how fellow Christians are imposing on my conscience. Deep within their conscience individuals discover a law which they do not make but which they are bound to obey, ever bidding them to love and do what is good and to avoid what is evil. This observance leads to human dignity and in its light they will be judged. Conscience is the innermost sanctuary of the person which must not be violated. Consciences must be free. Genuine freedom is the manifestation of the Divine in humans. If consciences are not free humans cannot be fully an image of the living God – their dignity is robbed.
Conscience must be formed, followed and must be free. Conscience is formed by reflection, by reason tempered with how the collective conscience is lived out. Our conscience is formed by the Gospel, by Revelation, by the way this revelation was lived and is lived now. Those like me who in conscience can never accept that women are priests do so out of obedience to Scripture, Tradition and the living Church whose vast majority is telling us in charity to stop this act of folly.
As a member of the CofE I feel ashamed that those who I am supposed to be in communion with are not only bringing the Church in greater schism and irreparable disruption but are also bulldozing over our consciences. Well as the Lord said to Martha let nothing distract us and in silence let us continue to sit at his feet and hear his gentle accents.