IDAHO - May 17

I've been wondering whether to give up blogging - I have become very busy with the East Area Asylum Seekers Support Group, known much more easily as Common Ground after it's premises. (I'm doing much more of the business side of things there, but not its website.)

I was further encouraged to give up by the latest offerings from the Church of England's Office of Cheapening Spirituality in the Name of Relevance:

And I'm afraid I've got bored with the Covenant and matters Anglican (not least because I'm now much more peripheral the the CofE). I have made a commitment to reflect on the Covenant so I will do so when the ACC has pronounced. So far as I can see the Covenant will arrive when it will make little or no difference which, I suppose, is the second to least bad outcome.

On the other hand there's a follow up to an earlier story about Scott Rennie. The FOCAs are trying to make a campaign issue of his ministry, leaping on the issue which Church of Scotland conservatives were perfectly capable of stoking up without any help.

Last night, an organisation called The Fellowship of Confessing Churches announced that it had collected a petition of 5,000 signatures to “defend Christian Orthodoxy”, and called on the Kirk to refuse to “condone homosexual practice in general and among its leaders in particular”.


The Rev Rennie said that the process of coming to terms with his sexuality had been painful. “As a young man growing up in a conservative church, it felt impossible to deal with issues around my own sexuality.

“It did not feel like a safe environment, and certainly not one in which I could have found support and understanding. So, I came to believe that I had to ignore it and do what I thought was the right thing at the time - live a heterosexual life.

“At school, I witnessed first-hand homophobic bullying, and the menace that anyone who even seemed gay was subjected to. It was not a pretty sight, and I wasn't brave enough to risk facing the bullies.”

He said the row over his appointment had left him feeling strong, but battered by speculation about his private life. He was also deeply moved by hundreds of messages of support.

“Although the present discussion centres around my own response to God's call, all the correspondence over the last few months has reminded me that there is a large body of people, like me, in a similar situation, in the Kirk,” the Rev Rennie said.

And, in Ireland, there's a storm in a "celebrate diversity" teacup.

The Sunday morning Holy Communion service, to be held on May 10 at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, was to involve prayers said by representatives of the Orange Order, Royal Black Preceptory, Freemasons and GAA.

But it was the involvement of Changing Attitude, a group which lobbies for the full involvement of gay and lesbian people in church life, which has led to the Loyal Orders' angry withdrawal and the subsequent decision not to go ahead with the event as it had been planned.

The Loyal Orders are withdrawing because (a) they weren't consulted, (b) they didn't want to get drawn into an internal Anglican dispute (which is wise), and (c)

"It is the view of the Loyal Orange Institution that any official representation by it at this service would contradict the principles and beliefs that we hold and would in particular lend credence to theological beliefs contrary to that of biblical Protestantism,"

Details of IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) services in Ireland on May 17, organized by Changing Attitude Ireland, are here.

So I'll continue for a while, at least until too many things overwhelm me.


1 comment:

  1. I'm afraid I'm in similar mode too, so that my blogging is becoming the equivalent of terrorism by humour, just poking fun and making targets look ridiculous.

    I now sit down during the communion section of services and sit or stay sat at the creeds. So the sense of producing entries is becoming less and less, and whilst I'm grateful to the church I attend, meaning its people, and there is a spirituality there, the actual content is less and less interesting and tells me little of use. Only where we discuss does it make sense now, yet I'd drop that if asked.

    But the real reason that is happening is that the corporate body, the Church itself, is increasingly ridiculous as these battles are fought by people pushing for boundaries, rules and supernaturalism. Let them have them, but I won't observe them.