Friday, April 15, 2016

Not for Victory

My brother, who also happens to be an Anglican priest, used to coach high school football. When he started, it eventually dawned on the players that one of their coaches was a Christian minister and could offer prayers before games, like in the US. So they asked Jody to pray before every game. He agreed but told them that it wouldn’t be for victory, it would be for fair play and safety.

In July the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada meets to discuss and make decisions regard a great variety of subjects. The Synod is made up of the bishops of the Church, as well as clergy and laity representing every diocese. It is a large and cumbersome way of doing things, but (and I speak from having attended three General Synods) sometimes it seems as though the Holy Spirit breaks in and directs the members.

This year the members of the General Synod have a particularly difficult issue to deal with, and that’s the proposed changes to the marriage Canon that, if passed, would change our definition of marriage to include same gender couples. Let there be no doubt that I believe that the motion should pass. However, I can’t bring myself to pray for victory because I know of the hurt already cause by this issue. And no matter what, the day after the vote the sun will rise and we will continue to love and work for justice as God has called us to.

We have written the bishop of our diocese (Ron Cutler) expressing our position and have asked him to forward our letter to the other delegates from our diocese. In the letter we made a commitment to keep the General Synod in our prayers. So, we will and it will be reflected in the Prayers of the People from now until the General Synod in July. But it won’t be a prayer for victory, it will be a pray for our church to be a radically inclusive Church, as we believe we’ve been called to be.

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