Monday, October 12, 2015

Conversation on a Plane

Brucefield Church of Scotland
It was only a week or so ago that returning to Dunedin from Auckland I had a conversation with my fellow-traveller in the neighbouring seat.  As two Dunedinites returning home we swapped information and when he asked what I did I gave him the conversation-stopper "I am a priest'.  Oddly enough that led to more chat and we discovered some common acquaintances and he told me he had a subscription to that excellent Catholic magazine Tui Motu.  Just as we were about to disembark I asked him which parish he attended and he said none; that he and his family used to go but now they were just sceptical.

I really warmed to this guy and my response was simply something like: "Hang on that scepticism, there's no faith worth a candle without it."

Christine has been away and also shared an interesting conversation.  She met someone who had married very young and the two of them had gone off as idealistic young missionaries in the Church of Christ.What must have been a very extended conversation was summarised by the friend saying that now (years later) she was happier now that she did not believe in God because the God of her young missionary days made no sense to her now.   Christine's comment when she mentioned this was a wry observation about the damage 'faith' can do and how grateful she was to be an Anglican and to have had space and time within the church for a more generous faith to grow.

These are the kind of conversations that really present the church a question about the kind of faith we hold and present.  How do we say the creed without decoding it; re-telling it?  How do we sing some of the stuff we voice in some of our hymns?  How can we create opportunities for conversations of this kind?  Any ideas?

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