Discernment ... wisdom ... conversion
Extracts from the sermon preached at the Discernment Synod Eucharist in Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday, 4 February 2018.
Here today we begin the process of discerning the person who will serve as the next Bishop of Grafton.
As Australian Anglicans we embrace episcopal leadership exercised within a Synodical governance framework in which clergy and lay people have substantial authority and shared responsibility for the well-being of the Church.
We need to discern not only the qualities needed in our new Bishop, but also the qualities needed in us as we form the Synod of this Diocese and work in partnership with our Bishop.
Our prayers are not for others to be touched by God, but for all of us and each of us to be touched by God.
Let me put this in stark terms.
Unless we are reformed and renewed we can sabotage the ministry of our new Bishop.
For sure we need wisdom to find the right person, But getting the right person is not a silver bullet to resolve the real challenges we face.
We need a deep and continuous conversion of the Diocese, and that means us (not the Registry office).
It is for that blessing that we pray this morning.
Yes, we seek wisdom to identify the right person to serve as our Bishop.
But we also seek grace to become the kind of people with whom that new Bishop can serve.
That way—and only in that way—can we engage in the mission to which we are called and develop the ministries that will authentically communicate the heart of the gospel to our families, our neighbours, and indeed our own selves.
The full text of this sermon is available online.