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Dealing with our disagreements

by Michael Ford last modified 25 Jun, 2021 02:36 AM

The Living in Love and Faith resource materials available to parishes "challenge all of us to admit our hypocrisy, cast out our fear, address our ignorance, acknowledge our prejudice, speak into silence, and pay attention to inequalities of power."

Diocesan Synod members were hearing a presentation from the Ven Alan Jeans on the church-wide learning that will be part of discerning a way forward for the Church of England in relation to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.

The Archdeacon of Sarum, who was recently awarded an MBE for his work as a volunteer army chaplain, was recommending the resources that are designed to encourage and enable engagement and learning in a variety of settings:

"There are a variety of media to use, to suit the local context. There is the opportunity to feed back what learning you have valued and been challenged by, so our National Church can assess our thoughts and responses.

"Do please let me know if I can support you, and I’d value hearing back from your use of the material, and how you might follow up the courses. In our Diocese, I’m pleased to be working with Bishop Karen, who is a member of the National Group coordinating the next steps."

Archdeacon Alan also addressed the fact that while issues of gender and sexuality are intrinsic to people’s experience, their sense of identity, their lives and the loving relationships that shape and sustain them, the worldwide Anglican Communion is affected by deep, and sometimes painful, disagreements which have been debated and discussed on many occasions over the years.

He told Synod:

"Disagreement between Christians is normal. The New Testament is full of it and as Christ's followers we should actually expect it. Dealing with our disagreements requires maturity and skill. We will all make many mistakes because none of us is perfect, and God has much work still to do with all of us.

"But when Christians work out their disagreements in a godly way, it is a wonderful testimony to the truth of the gospel, and as a result many more people will be drawn to Jesus Christ".

You can read the full presentation here.

You can find out more about Living in Love and Faith, and the resources available, here.

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