A stimulating and uplifting St Gilbert and St Boniface Regional Synod yesterday. For those of you who cannot imagine that those two adjectives can be used in the same sentence as Regional Synod, just look at the expressions on the faces of those who were there.
We started with a celebration of St Michael and All Angels, led for us by Revd Julia, followed by refreshments and a chance to make new friendships and renew old ones. At the business meeting that followed, once the usual administrative matters were out of the way, Synod discussed two more substantive matters and very much were DOERS as they set up groups to work on motions for Diocesan Synod. … and that was all before lunch!!
After lunch Ley-Anne Forsyth (in the foreground above) spoke movingly and passionately about Child Poverty in the Highlands and in smaller groups we again looked at what we could DO to help in our communities. Ley-Anne said that she had hoped that she could set us alight in her session, but found that we were at the very least starting to glow before she started and well ablaze by the time we finished.
St James says in his Epistle: “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. … Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
On the Feast of St Michael and All Angels, this Regional Synod might reasonable be described in these words by Bernard of Clairvaux:
“but even if the splendour and glory of the holy angels before God is beyond our comprehension, we can at least reflect upon the loving-kindness they show us. For there is in these heavenly spirits a generosity that merits our love, as well as an honour that evokes our wonder. It is only right that we who cannot comprehend their glory should all the more embrace their loving-kindness in which, as we know, the members of the household of God, the citizens of heaven, the heirs of paradise, are so exceedingly rich.”