I’m off to a 24 hour meeting of our Synod’s Policy, Planning and Strategy committee. There seems to be some time in the agenda for some discussion on a theme that has been somewhat recurrent in our team… ‘who are we?’ Not ‘who are we as individuals?’ but ‘Who are we as the United Reformed Church in Scotland?’.
I guess our questioning comes from the sense that the institutional church struggles in a number of ways to either renew itself or to support renewal in places other than our traditional understanding of church. It could make for some interesting discussion. I hope so… otherwise it’s going to be a long 24 hours!!!
UPDATE Part 1
Well, it turns out my hopes for an interesting discussion were well founded. PPS in my experience (limited I’ll admit) has been a business meeting. Tonight it was a discussion forum and that, it seemed, was something that almost everyone valued.
We were left, after good priming presentations from Jan and Jack with some thoughts to ponder:
Firstly that the time for navel gazing is over. It seems as though we can get caught in an endless cycle of self-discovery, but we don’t actually learn much, or if we do it never quite tranfers into real action. We were urged to:
- engage with congregation where they are at
- decide our intentions
Then we tackled the broader question of what is distinctive about the United Reformed Church in Scotland? This raises the following questions:
- Do we have and inquiring and credible theology?
- Is it a pastorally meaningful theology?
- Are we being and bulding an open and inclusive community?
- Do we trust people and their contribution?
- Do we foster imagination rather than memory?
I think if we can even make a start at saying ‘yes’ to any of these we will be travelling in the right direction. I’m looking forward to the rest of the discussion tomorrow.