The Eucharist is a mysterious thing, and even more so when it’s late on a Saturday night and your husband mentions that the person who brings the bread for the Lord’s Supper is away on summer holidays and you offer to go to the corner store to buy some for tomorrow while he prints off his sermon.
And then suddenly you are out in the darkness among the revellers of Newtown and you are scouring the shelves of the convenience store for the bread and you head back home and its going on midnight. You cross the road with noisy people heading home after a night of partying and you walk down the quiet laneways, swinging the bag of bread irreverently and catching yourself in the act.
“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Can you swing the body of Jesus in a plastic bag? Can you swing the bread that is going to be the body of Jesus in a plastic bag?
And you lift up the bag to eye level and stare at the thing and wonder. What really goes on when this preservative filled loaf is consecrated? What is a sacrament? How does this ordinary loaf become a holy thing?
Tomorrow my brothers and sisters will eat his body in rememberance that Christ died for us; they will feed on Him in their hearts, by faith, with thanksgiving. I guess that is the best answer I can come up with right now.
Synod has been over for almost a month now. Sorry for anyone waiting on the edge of their seat for a Fashions of Synod summary! Here is sweet relief: highlights from this years Fashions of Synod captured over here at Storify for your reading pleasure.
I am in the middle of my fourth round of Synod, and faithful readers (!) will know what that means… it’s time for Fashions of Synod. (See previous editions here, here and here.)
I am pleased to announce that Fashions of Synod has moved to its own designated twitter account, @fashionsofsynod, where it is seeing much more interaction and greater diversity in fashion trends.
Please follow along for live-tweeted Synod fashion updates, or come back here to Akrokorinth for a summary of the 2014 Season at close of Synod business next week.
Before you make any joke about it: there was no white smoke.
On Monday evening this week about 800 synod representatives began the unusual process of electing an Archbishop; by 8pm Tuesday we had elected Glenn Davies to lead the Anglican church in Sydney. Other than the prayer throughout and bible readings and sermon in the middle, the process was ordinarily political. There was a minute book. And debating. And ayes and nays. And lots of voting by secret ballot. And God worked through it all in a weird and wonderful way. After some mean campaigning over the previous months the election itself was polite and civil on Monday, and stuffed with moments of love, reconciliation and genuine fellowship on Tuesday. At least from my perspective. If you are interested in more details, drop me a line and I’ll tell you more of the story.
Glenn Davies accepts the synod’s invitation to become Archbishop
Now that the election is over it seems appropriate to reflect on the whole process with a round-up of some of my favourite commentary on the election campaigning. With only two candidates the campaigning was very pointy and political. Sometimes it was too painful to engage with. But sometimes it was awesome. Here were the moments I enjoyed best:
Commentary round-up (with video memes!) under the cut
Synod wrapped up on Tuesday night. As promised, here is the long awaited Fashions of Synod edition. Anglican clergy: know the trends for the coming year!
Fashions of Synod
It’s Synod time again. You may remember my baptism-by-fire first experience of Synod last year, which I helpful dealth with by blogging all the insignificant things here: Fashions of Synod and Synod: ONTD!. If you missed it you can catch the first in the series here.
I was really hoping to relay more synod triviality this year but sadly I haven’t really captured anything. Knowing what to expect this year has meant that, even though I am exhausted already after the first three days and there are still two days to go next week, I have been engaging pretty well. For starters I have had realistic expectations of my “work/life balance” this week, fully apprectiating the temporary change to “work/synod balance” and being extremely thankful for Matt who has driven me everywhere, kept the house ordered and been incredibly gracious with my tiredness. Also every time I come home there seems to be Turkish Delight icecream in the fridge. The day can never end badly when it ends like that! On top of this I started this synod already knowing how to interpret all the proposals, business papers, amendment sheets and meeting protocol. Rather than spending most of my time in a constant state of panic, never quite sure what we were talking about, this time I’ve been able to actually listen and reflect during debate. I wonder if this is why I have nothing trivial to report. I think I am too distracted by the actual business of synod. It only took a year – how quickly things change!
One of the hard things about appreciating and understanding what is going on is that rather than playing it safe and voting with the majority, or relying heavily on prompting from my minister and fellow parish representative, I have used my brain and voted for myself. Unfortunately most of those votes have fallen with the minority. Oh well. I know that regardless of how I vote I am still a pretty straight-down-the-line Evangelical-Anglican-in-the-British-tradition, so I’m not letting it shake me too much. Every time so far I’ve lost a vote, I’ve paid attention to the people who have voted like me (so far there has only been one secret ballot so it’s been easy). There have always been at least a handful of ministers and lay people I know and respect who are voting the way I do. Phew.
My minister argues for an ammendment to redirect a small proportion of the money we raise
to purchase land for churches towards co-ordinating the church planters for those sites.
A brilliant idea, but sadly one of the things I voted for that didn’t get up.
It hasn’t all been too serious, I have one little triviality to offer. Before synod started I created a synod meme – my first meme ever!
And of course there are still two days to go. I’m hoping I can collect material in the vein of last year’s livejournal synod reports. See you soon, hopefully with something slightly more ridiculous.
I love being an Anglican. It’s not because of the bishops, or the Thirty Nine Articles, or the prayer book, or the baptising of children. It’s definitely not because of the odd mish-mash culture of grumpy-loving-complaining-hopeful-closeminded-openhearted-conservative-creative Anglicans here in Sydney. It’s not even because of the Queen (although she herself does make an awesome leader of the church).
It’s because of the maps