Janet`s letter to the Community

Janet’s letter to the Community

The Church of England is conducting an exploration, “Living in Love and Faith” (LLF), in the areas of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.  These are deeply personal and emotive matters and we are all aware that there are profound disagreements over the approach to be taken to society’s changing perspectives, especially in relation to lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex people.  The Church wants to understand what it means to follow Christ in love and faith given the questions about human identity and the variety of patterns of relationship emerging in our society, including marriage, civil partnership, cohabitation, celibacy and friendship. 

As part of the journey, they have produced resources which we plan to explore in a five-session course in Lent Groups this year.  The material is designed to help us identify what the Bible, theology, history and the social and biological sciences can teach us, and to give us the opportunity of hearing the stories of followers of Christ with diverse experiences and convictions.  Please do get in touch if you are interested in taking part.

As we explore these complex and emotive areas, we are asked to sign up to a “commitment” to support our learning and meeting together.  You can find it on the Church of England Living in Love and Faith website.  As I read it, two things jumped out at me.  Alongside the usual “group rules” relating to confidentiality, not interrupting etc, there were two “commitments” that seemed to bring something new.  The first was that we will hold each other before God in prayer.  How often do we seriously pray for people with whom we disagree?  Do we pray not only that they will change their opinions, actions, etc, but that God will bless them? Do we pray for their wellbeing and their flourishing?

And the second point was the commitment to “take care about how we speak about others who are not in the room”.  How easy it is to think about others in their absence as “they” and to make generalisations and judgements.  How important it is to remember that all human beings have been created by God and are loved by him.  How essential it is that we continuously guard our own tongues and think before making statements that may wound or offend others.

We all have much to learn.  Whether or not you join an LLF group discussion, do take time to consider those two “commitments” and their application to your own life.  All sorts of things could change!    


With every blessing


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