As I come, this Saturday, to give my final lecture as a St Francis College Brisbane staff member, it is poignant to do so on the subject of ‘The Vocation of Anglicanism’. In that light, it is such a delight to find today an Ad Clerum from Bishop David Jenkins - written in 1993, in the white heat of conflict, as the final legal steps for the ordination of women went through Parliament. It is a typical +David description of the Anglican (Church of England) spirit in which I was raised - so far from so much that passes as Anglican in some places today - not least these key points which also sit so happily with the UCA ‘Basis of Union’ ...
This week I received an email from a lawyer and Anglican working for the human rights of LGBTI people in Jamaica. It was a reminder of how far we still have to travel together as a world and of the urgent need for solidarity. Whatever other differences they may have, Anglican world leaders have frequently called on governments to decriminalise private consensual same-gender intimacy and this is surely something all Anglicans must seriously consider supporting actively, for example in signing the following online petition here...
Last night, as part of our Maundy Thursday journey, many of our parish members shared together in a Christian Seder meal, followed by our special celebration of communion with footwashing, stripping of the altars and (brief) prayer vigil. Although we have shared a seder meal in the past, it was a few years since we have done so and it proved very moving. A number of elements made it so, including the prayers, questions and answers, remembrance of the Exodus and other deliverances from oppression and evil, and the reading of psalms. The quality of the food and preparation was excellent and the joyful, Jewish-style, song, at the end also rounded things off beautifully. Perhaps most importantly of all however was the attention all these were given and the spirit of attentiveness further cultivated in and between all those who took part. Often, even in our prayer, family and community lives, we rush from one thing to another, risking just going through the motions. To take time to consider what we are doing is a valuable exercise, especially when it brings us to a deeper appreciation and communion with the food, people, and holy stories we share. After the seder meal, this deepened spirit of attentiveness flowed into our worship, bringing a more profound sense of so much within it, as we more truly 'celebrated the feast' of God's presence in, with and beyond us.
Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.