Day 3 - Synod is looking pale
Sydney boasts one of the most multicultural populations in the world.
Synod does not. The crowd inside the Wesley Theatre is mostly whiter and older than that on the street outside.
We’ve been challenged a few times during Synod to be aware of this and to make decisions for the sake of neighbours who may not be like us. The Presidential Address picked this up. Bruce Hall gave a number of stories of cross cultural work that is taking place but also highlighted the enormous ammount still to be done.
Peter Lin spoke at the ACL Dinner about the need to not just ‘go to them so that they can be like us’ but instead to ‘change what we do in order to reach them.’ I hope the ACL are able to post his talk soon. It deserves the widest possible hearing. With great humour he pointed out how strange it was that Anglos were happy to have Chinese dentists accountants and doctors - but still seemed uneasy about having Chinese Senior Ministers. We trust them to cure our diseases - why not our souls? We laughed as we recognised our hypocrisy. He has a point. Where are the Chinese Senior Ministers of large congregations in Sydney?
As Synod makes long term plans one of the big responsibilities it has is to keep looking out beyond itself. Looking out to a city that is more multicultural than almost all of our churches. Looking out to a future that will be more multicultural - and particularly more Asian, than it is now.