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Cool Choirs, Clappy Choruses, Cringy Coffee: Religion Chat Thread No 5

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madhairday Sun 09-Sep-12 16:16:19

I thought seeing as our other thread has gone somewhere into the oblivion that is old MN pages, I would start us up again anew for a new term. This is a place for those who are Christians (and anyone who's not, we're not an exclusive little club) grin to chat about life, theology, church, any other stuff and of course Graham Kendrick, as nickel would not forgive me if I forgot to mention him grin

So all welcome, old and new, it would be fun to chat and chew over anything that comes to mind. Lurkers say hello!

Anyone got a nice juicy topic to get the ball rolling then? Or if not come say hi anyway and tell us how you are doing. smile

newlark Wed 21-Nov-12 18:52:48

I almost hesitate to put my head above the parapet even amongst other christians but I go to a church which would probably be described as conservative evangelical. Although I don't particularly have strong views either way I know they would have voted against due to the lack of provision for the very sizeable minority who hold biblical or traditional views (I'd be interested to know how unrepresentative the house of laity actually is - e.g. based on church attendance - our church is the biggest in our area although of course there will be a range of views within individual churches). I thought this was a good article presenting some views from the other side.

I've been saddened by the reactions - particularly from some Christians and by the way opponents have been portayed in the media and their convictions not respected - our ministers are very godly, humble men who are highly regarded in our church and who greatly appreciate the contributions that women can make in the church whilst staying faithful to the bible. It will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the Church of England but then I guess we can sometimes expect to be "aliens and strangers" in society.

newlark Wed 21-Nov-12 18:59:51

An interesting statistic - one of the first online articles I read last night (on the telegraph website) had a poll asking "Did the General Synod make the right decision to reject women bishops?" and over 36% of over 8500 responders answered yes - close to the proportions in the house of laity.

newlark Wed 21-Nov-12 22:37:44

Sorry - didn't mean to kill the thread completely. BTW I loved the Tim Hawkins "Hand Raising in Worship" - link posted a few days ago - had tears running down my face grin - I didn't let myself watch it a second time in case I get the giggles at an inappropriate time (not that there is much hand raising in the CofE but it does happen...)

niminypiminy Thu 22-Nov-12 10:01:13

Hi Newlark! It's good - I do mean that - to have someone here from the 'other side' and to know that we are all still neighbours, even amidst all the hurt.

One of the things that makes me sad about all this is that it strengthens the hand of those who just want to go all out for women bishops and make no provision for those who don't. It seems to me that the conservative evangelicals have really shot themselves in the foot over this. As DandyDan said, it has made the cries for disestablishment louder, and while I can't see that any politicians really have a heart for unpicking the 1688 settlement, it makes the Church of England's position seem very precarious.

I thought +Rowan's words at the opening of Synod yesterday were just about right. The church does have to look outward, and it does have a lot of explaining to do, and we do have to take on board just how incomprehensible this is to the secular world.

While that poll in the Telegraph is interesting, Newlark, it still shows an overwhelming majority in favour of female bishops, and we have to remember that Telegraph readers are probably much more socially and politically conservative than the population as a whole.

madhairday Thu 22-Nov-12 11:07:41

Hello Newlark. It is good to have input from another way of thinking. The problem is that I believe just as much as conservative evangelicals do that I am being faithful to the bible in my thinking. You cannot pick only Pauls passages seemingly against women in leadership without balancing those for or referring to women who are. The headship thing is interesting too, I read a book not long ago exploring what that really meant, I think it was to do with the marriage relationship and men being responsible for their wives as in loving them and laying down their lives for them as Christ did for the church, rather than in some way being dominant over them.

However, like niminy I am afraid that those who oppose women bishops will be penalised to the extent that there will be more divisions than there would have been if the vote had gone, through, iyswim - perhaps the provisions in place were the best that could have been, and anything now may be more stringent because of the overall tide of feeling. it's not an easy one sad

I'm most worried about the mission of the church, and how people are responding. In aibu someone asks whether they should stop donating, and someone else says they are not attending anymore. All this does is undermine the mission of the local church, which is what Christ sent us to do. It's making me very depressed indeed.

All the cries of disestablish are worrying too. I'm not sure at all of the future for this church and what consequences all this will have in the end. I do hope something positive can come out of it all sad

DandyDan Thu 22-Nov-12 12:02:32

I welcome your input too, newlark. And I agree with Madhairday on the interpretation thing. Those who are pro-women-bishops are biblical too, and aren't, as some think, just trying to squeeze the bible into world-orientated goals. Both those voting for and against would be hopefully trying to discern the spirit of God in the way forward. And it looks as if things are tending towards the church accepting that women bishops are a part of the way forward: it is really virtually here - but also not here, by virtue of an imbalance in who exactly is elected to the House of Laity. There was a move to consider other forms of voting for G Synod (by a committee headed by a leader of Forward in Faith) which amounted to exactly nothing. I suspect the process for this will have to be examined again and changed radically and urgently. If 42 of 44 diocesan synods voted for women bishops, how come those laity representing those dioceses did not represent the feelings of their diocese?

Although the vote was incredibly disappointing (from this side of things), I suspect that it will be passed within the next three years. It had felt that the moment should have been already but it may be soon to come.

Provisions are not easy. For those who might turn to Roman Catholicism, the Ordinariate is not all it's cracked up to be. I have manifest evidence of that in my locality. For those on the evangelical wing, I am sorry to have no answers really. I do know though that the divisions can run really deep - withholding of parish share being a pernicious tool already used over the last decade or so - and lack of community at the "clergy" level: those who are not pro-women refusing to attend diocesan conferences, or the worship at such, for reasons of not wanting to be "tainted" by communion with a priest or bishop who accepts women priests. In this sense, it can quickly turn from a matter of theology and church practice, to one which is a hurtful breach of the Christian community we should all feel a part of.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Thu 22-Nov-12 12:42:28

not just incomprhensible to the secular world - i know of a lot of non-cofe christians who are disappointed by the decision.

the church is supposed to be the head of this country, and it almost says that women just don't matter.
so, the head of the church (in this country) is the Queen, who is a woman, but she got there by divine right, so why can't she have women bishops serving her and us? i call that divine right too, and it just makes no sense.

newlark Thu 22-Nov-12 13:28:13

Thanks for the responses. I don't really know the theological arguments for and against (from either the anglo-catholic or conservative evangelical side) - the few bits that I have seen I didn't even understand all the words used blush. It was interesting that one of the comments below the good book co blog article that I linked to was from an evangelical who had been persuaded to support women in ordained ministry from scripture (rather than the cultural/social arguments which seem to have been predominant and which I am less inclined to be persuaded by) - I'd like to look into that more when I have time.

I joined my church because I happened to move into that parish rather than having been an evangelical first iyswim and my faith has grown and come alive through the ministry and teaching and the people in the church whose love for Jesus shines though and is clearly lived out in their lives day to day. Although I haven't got far enough to form clear views myself and be convicted one way or the other on this issue (a bit preoccupied with small children) I respect theirs enormously. I know that there are people like that in all churches on both sides which is why this whole situation was always going to be a "train crash" whatever the outcome from the vote. I pray that all sides can work together for a good resolution.

Tuo Sun 25-Nov-12 12:00:23

Just had to share this little nugget of conversation with dd2.

Me: Next week is the first Sunday of Advent
Her: Ooh, great... Purple!

Loving that I have a 10-y-o who knows her liturgical colours, but even more that her first reaction was not 'Ooh, great; nearly Christmas!' (not least because I haven't even started thinking about it yet... must get my Christmas shopping head on soon, I s'pose!).

MaryBS Mon 26-Nov-12 07:46:19

LOL TUO, I was thinking yesterday "must remember to change the altar cloth" :D

niminypiminy Mon 26-Nov-12 10:36:42

I love advent - possibly my favourite church season <spoddy>

MaryBS Mon 26-Nov-12 10:42:27

Time to bring this out again, Advent in 2 minutes, by Busted Halo grin

niminypiminy Mon 26-Nov-12 11:00:52

Love it, Mary!

RuckAndRoll Mon 26-Nov-12 13:08:03

Love that link Mary. I think I'll show it to Sunday School next week, they're already going on about presents and being off school, with Jesus as a bit of a sideline.

One of the 3yo boys at the church when asked what character he wants to be in our nativity procession declared on Sunday he wanted to be Mary so he got to cuddle the little baby (he has a little baby brother who he loves to bits). smile

nickelbabeuntiladvent Mon 26-Nov-12 17:56:51

ah. grin

we've got our advent carol service on sunday.

last year (and there's video evidence on youtube), i was as big as a house and my surplice looked tight! grin

MaryBS Tue 27-Nov-12 07:55:32

LOL Nickel, bet you looked like you'd swallowed a hassock grin

madhairday Tue 27-Nov-12 09:28:48

Great clip Mary smile

aww Nickel, it's nearly a year isn't it! How is dd doing?

So busy here - I'd better not get ill this year!

DutchOma Tue 27-Nov-12 09:44:36

I remember last year, Nickel. How you were wondering whether you would make the Advent carol service and then you went on and on and on. And then you weren't quite sure what date she was born on. What did you settle for in the end?

cloutiedumpling Tue 27-Nov-12 11:28:11

That's fantastic Mary, and just what I needed this morning. Sometimes December does feel like a race to get everything done and I don't relax until after the dinner has been served on Christmas day.

nickelbabeuntiladvent Tue 27-Nov-12 11:38:08

A hassock? more like 5! grin

and was soooo convinced that DD would be on her way and born the next day or so!

She was definitely born on the 12th.
because it was midnight.

I was annoyed by that whole fiasco - I don't know why I did it, but at the time I thought it would be a good conversation point (I said "it's midnight, does that make it the 11th or the 12th?", knowing full well that midnight was the 12th) - i expected everyone to go "of course it's the 12th, everyone knows that!" but they all went flappy and confused and couldn't decide. So thy wrote down 12:02 as the birth time.
That's all over her records, and I'm fuming about it.

nickelbabeuntiladvent Tue 27-Nov-12 11:38:36

(still fuming a year on. might fume about that for her whole life.)

MaryBS Wed 28-Nov-12 10:02:48

Can you perhaps think of it as a story to share with her and for her to share when she is grown up? Nobody noticed what time DD was born because she wasn't breathing properly and they were more concerned about getting her resuscitated! So she might be a minute or two out too!

niminypiminy Wed 28-Nov-12 10:20:16

I must admit that I've forgotten what time the boys were born, and only just about keep hanging on to the day of the week. Mind you, DH and I are terminally confused about the exact date of our wedding anniversary so we do not have an impressive record. I know we could look it up, but then we would have to find our marriage certificate. I'm sure we still have it somewhere...

nickelbabeuntiladvent Wed 28-Nov-12 16:03:30

yes, I will share it with her.
because midnight is such a cool time to be born - and it was exact, too, so she's 12am on the 12th of the 12th. grin

fancy not knowing your wedding anniversary! shock
(mind you, i forget what year ours was...)

nickelbabeuntiladvent Wed 28-Nov-12 16:49:47

ah, now, i know what i didn't tell you....

JC1 has been very busy with a play, so he's not been able to attend practice on fridays.
His mum was worried he wouldn't get enough choral practice in, so has been taking him to NearestTown to a church there on a monday.
he's obviously a probationer there, but the choirmaster is so desperate to have him that he's told him that when he gets his surplice there, he'll also get his light blue ribbon.
that's the light blue ribbon that we've been working with him on for nearly 2 years. the one that until recently, he hasn't proved himself responsible enough to achieve.
there's another fuming story.
I told his mum that that CM had now pissed me off and i couldn't believe he would usurp me like that. JC1 doesn't care (as in realise, not as in doesn't care!), he just hears "you'll get your blue ribbon" and that's all he wants. He doesn't care about the fact that we'd planned to award him with it before the new priest comes (so either the week after epiphany or the one after), or that DH and I have gone through a lot with him over the last 2 years, so it's more our medal than it is his - and this new CM knows that full well.

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