Truth of course.
Another quest appears to have ended in tears – mine.
I thought i could get involved in parish development with a group of like-minded people – nice people. Our meeting last night raised serious difficulties for me. We had a new member – seemed nice and friendly but announced that Ireland was no longer a christian country due to our yes vote in the same-sex marriage last year. Now i knew my fellow table-elbowers were conservative but i was surprised by the level of agreement with this observation and the opinion that the irish people were misguided by a false sense of love and compassion when they voted yes, a false sense of love and compassion!
I was never more proud of my fellow Irish citizens, never more proud or our politicians, never more proud of being Irish than on the day we voted Yes.
I have never understood, nor had it explained to me, just what sex and sexuality have to do with the church, any church. I have to say it is none of their business. Never was, never will be. What are they scared of?
Now those who know me know i’m aurally challenged, quite deaf actually if there is any significant background noise, but i’m sure i heard our new member state that the godless english, who convert their churches into houses, believe that they are descended from animals, thus dishing the theory of evolution as well as gay rights within ten minutes of the meeting starting. That was when i started to cry – internally only – but it feels like your heart is bleeding. I knew then that i’d been travelling down another cul de sac.
I feel a huge sense of loss and that not only saddens me but scares me – just what was i looking for – some community where i can ‘belong’, abdicate thinking and assessing for myself. Abdicate searching for the truth. Nearly, but not quite – i hope i have the strength to keep searching. Somewhere there must be a community of people, a church even, where i could rest my weary soul without abandoning any of my beliefs and principles.
Back to the drawing board
It seems so obvious to me that the principle reason that the church in ireland has lost its active members, c. 20% attend church regularly on a Sunday, is that it has become irrelevant, irrelevant to people and irrelevant in their lives. But here’s the thing, that’s not the people’s fault, it’s not the people who need to change, it’s the church, And until they get that, until that’s fully understood by all the decision makers in the church, they are not going to change. There can be no renewal without change; serious surgical change. Not in a vague attempt to become relevant in today’s world but in a serious attempt to address their core values and purpose, especially their purpose.
We were told last night that the church has been trying for 40 years to bring about renewal and that it hasn’t worked and that the church doesn’t really understand why. Forty years of failing and they haven’t figured it out yet.
Tear everything up and go back to the drawing board.
We will be waiting for you.
Yours in sadness.