Saturday 14 June 2014

General Synod 2014

I start to tap this out on my second train back to the west from Edinburgh, after two-and-a-half days of the General Synod of our Scottish Episcopal Church.  It was my fourth synod, a very small number compared to many, but one starts to get the feel for the shape of the business.

What happened? There was a lot of normal business, of tweaking calendars, of approving budgets ("we must be prudent facing challenging times ahead") and receiving reports. Discussing matters that may or may not make much difference to the life of the church.  There were also a few points of profound engagement and emotional intensity.  Some issues get certain people het up: social justice, outreach, attitudes to risk taking, buildings, statistics. But there were also some massive, massive items.

The theological training institute for Scotland is being completely overhauled.  This is a risky business, I suspect, in terms of people, of attitudes to those who were in the 'old' version and of the money that is needed to create a generation of priests, deacons and lay people (I don't think bishops are produced by this method, hmm) that will be effective, resilient and the leaders for the next few decades. Big stuff.

And there was the issue of equal marriage and the church's attitude, formal and informal, to those of us who are not heterosexual. But that needs a separate post, which will follow.

I come away from this synod in a better frame of mind than I have from any previously. Which is good. I really do believe that there is hope for the SEC!

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