The Ultimate Word

"The ultimate Word is not a paragraph but a person. If Jesus is the Word of God incarnate, then the heart of proclamation is personal and relational, not propositional."

Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki * God, Christ, Church, page 135

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clearly my work is having an impact

I had a bit of a tough day yesterday. I was feeling a little down. Being so far behind the scenes and with such limited communication with home, I was feeling a little isolated and as though my work was lacking any significant impact.

Fortunately, those who oppose my work here in Canterbury have come to the rescue to help me see just how valuable my contribution is.

An important aspect of our work here in Canterbury is in our trying to contribute to the Listening Process that has been called for (and as yet unsuccessful) since 1978. One way that we are hoping to contribute to this process is by the daily distribution of a newsletter called The Lambeth Witness. All of the organizations of the Inclusive Church Network, the Chicago Consultation, etc. are contributing articles and photographs to bring a voice to the causes about which we are advocating.

After arranging with Conference Organizers prior to arriving, we secured permission to have our friendly and smiling volunteers hand them to the bishops as they left the Eucharist each morning on the way to breakfast.

This worked for one day. Then we were chastised by conference organizers for handing them out without permission. When we explained that we had permission, we were chastised because it was intended to be a "green" conference - additional paper was not allowed. We had been, of course, sensitive to environmental justice issues, and though post-consumer recycled paper was not available, we did purchase carbon offsets in our attempt to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

But conference organizers insisted that the newsletters would be more "green" if they were not handed out, but left in stands for people to take their own. (No, we haven't figured out how that equation works...)

So this is where I come in. I constructed these lovely stands using the logo and posters of the Inclusive Church Network. There were 10 of them placed in high traffic areas around the campus.

Evidently, there are forces at work around the conference who are resistant to our message - they are determined to ensure that the Listening Process fails for yet another decade.

This is what we found this morning while trying to restock our stands with today's issue.

One of the stands had been vandalized and our copies of The Lambeth Witness had been removed and placed in the refuse bin nearby.

While this was, of course, disheartening, in some ways it lifted my spirit. I know that my work is important and having an impact if it is being resisted this strongly.

If you'd like to read The Lambeth Witness each day, CLICK HERE to download in PDF format.

Also, check out WALKING WITH INTEGRITY to read the official "party line" from Susan Russell, President of IntegrityUSA about the vandalism.

No comments: