At a recent Clergy Conference prayer, poetry and politics combined in a call to speak truthfully and act prophetically.
With the theme ‘rooted and grounded in love’ (Ephesians 3:17) participants had the opportunity to deepen their relationship with God, expand their appreciation of others and return refreshed to re-engage with their diverse communities.
A number of themes continue to provide a rich resource for reflection. I offer you some for your own use and enjoyment.
Jesus’ question to Peter “Who do you say that I am?”
Carol Ann Duffy’s pointing us to “the shy sorrow that will not speak up”.
Gisela Stuart’s honest challenges about how to “structure a movement of people”.
Sarah Coakley asking “what are the markers that keep you Anglican?”
Kate Coleman’s hope for “a culture of generosity by action”.
These ideas and many more led to stimulating and challenging conversations. This pattern of truthful speech is one that has been practised in Birmingham Inter-faith and Poverty settings with life-changing effect. I believe that the methods and insights we are learning can be replicated in every local setting for the building up of trusting relationships for a safe, creative, diverse society.
Christians who say in honest, faith-filled response with St Peter that Jesus is Lord, are also called in these days to exercise Jesus’ ministry of courageous reconciliation.