Thursday, 8 March 2012

So who wants to be afraid?

OK, how about if I asked the question differently, who is wants to see change happen under the guidance and control of somebody else?

Same answer.

Few ever really want to see change happen unless they're in control of it, and especially if they have strong views on how things *should be*. Yet as a church change is inevitable for us, especially with the change in leadership and the loss of community head. I'm still trying to understand how and why the Anglican church works as it does, but it seems to me that the present model of benefices (several churches covered by a small team of priests) leaves churches leaderless and rudderless: sometimes communities, but with a pattern to maintain the status quo.

We went to a very curious meeting on Tuesday night, the name of which escapes me right now, but titled along the lines of PCC members learning about discipling or some such. I would have loved it to have genuinely been about that, but it seemed a mix of internal PR opportunity and attempt at en masse small group discussion. It was being run as a roadshow by some seriously experienced people, which made it's vagueness and lack of meaningful content all the more worrying. There was a feedback form to return, and I only hope I can find useful things to say that will help in the future.

Why mention that?

Because that's how things seem to be. It's all about maintaining the structure and tradition, keeping it nice and allowing everything to just keep on.

The thoughts that initially triggered this came from a conversation with a friend - a man I'd love to know better and develop a deeper friendship and trust with. We discussed doing something different, and I saw fear in his eyes, behind the careful control of emotions. It reminded me of how I've felt numerous times over the last few years, where I wasn't in control, and my life was subject to being turned upside down at the whims of others. That wasn't the problem - I've lived like that a long time - the problem was that I did not trust them and felt like they did not have my best interests at heart.

It seems amusingly ironic that our present Thursday night theme is all about someone who brings disruption, change and freedom to a traditional and religious community.

Now it uses the film Chocolat as a way of exploring this theme as well as telling a story, and of course, like most films, there is a happy ending after a build up of tension and then crisis. If only church could be like that - things get really tense, then characters are suddenly able to be the best of friends and everything works out beautifully.

We'll have to wait and see how this all pans out, but my prayer right now is that we'll come closer as a fellowship and we'll trust both each other and the leaders to make the right decisions - and they will make the right decisions.

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