Synod diary #2 - A great start
When I was in high school, 3.15pm marked the end of the day; at Synod it marks the start. And what a great start it was.
After a number of procedural arrangements were in place the opportunity to ask questions came - and the real question is, how many questions is too many questions? There was talk of a record in my corner of the Wesley Theatre as 26 people asked more than 60 questions that the Archbishop and his team now have to find answers for. There were questions about finances, College enrolments and many other things.
One member asked how many copies of the Essential Jesus are still in boxes in our churches. I pray the answer is "not many".
After the questions, we moved on to Archbishop Jensen's Presidential Address. It was thoughtful, profound, honest, and rooted in theological thinking. Peter pushed us to consider our anthropology and how our view of what a human is impacts our thinking and ministry. He spoke about the way our culture deals with prisoners, the dying and children. The world dreams of enabling human perfectability; only the Gospel makes that dream possible.
Peter Jensen encouraged us, therefore, to win the world for Christ by "outliving, outloving and outthinking" our culture. I am not sure if he and Christine sit at home watching Survivor but several Tweeters wondered whether he was stealing lines from Jeff Probst. (You can catch all the Twitter action by following #sydsynod)
Speaking of stealing, I heard about a great ministry taking place at Harrington Park Anglican Church.
This new church was reclassified as a full Parish this evening (signalling that they have grown into a sustainable church) and they run a ministry called "Bookworms". I suppose it is a bit like a playgroup but it is focussed on books, reading, craft and good coffee for the parents.
So the platform is set and now the business will begin. Please pray we don't lose sight of what really matters: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
The Rev Nigel Fortescue is rector of St Peter’s, Campbelltown