We have looked at the finances of our Diocese. The Bishop has told us what he thinks is important in our State...and he seemed to get it right (euthanasia, water, refugees and so on) and we have had lunch and morning tea...which is probably just as important as it's a great chance to catch up with people you haven't seen for a year.
Lest you think it is all beer and skittles, we also had to listen to (what seemed to me) drivel about Mission Action Plans (I'll qualify this later) in which we were told about lukewarm successes and the seduction to present novelty and yet more novelty in the name of being relevant. We were invited to reinvent the Dean and Chapter (Cathedral staff and support) and were bombarded by the excellent work that our social agency Anglicare is caught up in.
It is easy to become swamped. Conversations round the table and in the car on the way home were helpful for getting a sense of perspective.
My point? Let us not in the name of innovation forget that there is much that just continues on steadfastly.
Whilst applauding innovation it is easy to allow such plaudits to critique the traditional values that we have stood for.
Like struggling with trying to make genuine community might mean keep on keeping on instead of the ever escalating seduction of novel ways of being relevant.
I would maintain for example that the parish of which I have been the priest for 15 years has struggled with just staying where we are, instead of moving to one church and then another when we got bored. As a result the community depth is profound (and this is a characteristic of many of our 'ordinary' parishes) but they look 'ordinary'. They are not sexy...and there is almost certainly no Mission Action Plan!
O Synod. Can't wait for it to be over.