Seeing things with new ‘Kingdom eyes’
Thank you to everyone who was involved in the recent Synod meeting. From my perspective the event went really well. But my perspective is coloured by whether the sessions run on time and we get through the agenda! It’s only later as I reflect on the reports we received and the decisions we made that I think about whether it has been a truly good Synod.
This was a Synod with several real highlights. For me they included the Bible studies, the presentation by Palestinian woman Arda Aghazarian, and the many good news stories that punctuated our meeting at various points. As always, the Ministry recognition service was a highpoint for me and I again felt this was a moving moment in our proceedings.
Our venue at Knox serves us incredibly well. It’s a wonderful space in which to meet and provides us with all the facilities we need. This year we experimented with having a small stage in the middle of the hall and this seemed to work really well. Our coffee cart seemed to be a great success and many people appreciated the opportunity for fellowship over the meal on Monday night.
So you can see I’m focusing on all the logistic questions, which make a large meeting run well. But at the same time, we also focused on the Synod mission plan and talked about the budget and Property for a Pilgrim People issues that are designed to move our Synod forward.
A new standing committee was elected and they will have the task of carrying all of these issues forward. They met briefly at the conclusion of the Synod and are scheduled to meet again in November for orientation and some ongoing business. Our focus for this group will definitely be picking up the positive tone of Synod and taking it from here.
Straight after Synod I went to a conference in Adelaide for the Australian Association of Mission Studies. It was at this conference that I actually had time to reflect on some of what we had done during the Synod and came away from that time of reflection knowing that we must all take responsibility to “change the narrative” of how we speak about the Church. We must find ways to continue to inject a hopeful vision and story into our conversation about the Church. This will require us to see things with new “Kingdom eyes”.
Jesus says in his society there is a new way for people to live:
- you show wisdom, by trusting people;
- you handle leadership, by serving
- you handle offenders, by forgiving
- you handle money, by sharing
- you handle enemies, by loving
- and you handle violence, by suffering.
In fact you have a new attitude toward everything, toward everybody. Toward nature, toward the state in which you happen to live, toward women, toward slaves, toward all and every single thing. Because this is a Jesus Society and you repent not by feeling bad, but by thinking differently. It seems to me it’s time in our Church for some different thinking, which moves us forward in a positive direction; the direction Jesus would have us take.
General Secretary, Rev. Dr Andrew Williams
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