Valentine's Day - of action!
The report from the House of Bishops of the Church of England at the end of three years of Shared Conversations on sexuality has come as a huge shock and disappointment to us all. What a sadness that our established church is unable to follow the lead set by so many of our ecumenical partners over the past two years, embracing the possibility of change and theological diversity. This week has rightly seen a huge outpouring of anger, and hurt and we have needed to be kind to one another. Doubtless for some it will have been the final straw. But it has also provoked reactions of also determination and pride. Amongst the various groups and individuals committed to change and transformation, there has been a quite remarkable coming together, collaboration and sense that we have a shared task now. It is a very energising time - even if a few of us are flagging!
Between us we're planning a strong presence at Synod when this report is due to be debated on 15 February. There are fringe meetings planned, resources being developed, conversations happening with press and media contacts, and with our friends and allies in Parliament. And on 14 February we are holding our Rainbow List reception, in the heart of Westmister, where we'll showcase the very best of what our churches have been doing and continue to do to welcome, affirm and celebrate LGBTI people.
This is a pivotal moment for us as we respond to the bishops' report and launch our vision for the future - but it all costs money. Those who oppose our work have impressive financial resources - The Christian Institute, who are likely also to be present at Synod, had an income in excess of £2.5million in their last published accounts. Will you help fund our presence at Synod and get our new vision off to a flying start - a strong message to the Synod and to the wider church of our commitment, determination and pride in who we are, and who God has created us to be. You don't need to be a member of the Church of England to know that the way it thinks, speaks and behaves about LGBT people has a particular impact on our national conscience. When it speaks like this, it damages people, it undermines the mission and ministry of every denomination, and it misrepresents the Jesus we find in the gospels.
Your donation will help us cover the costs of the fringe meetings and speakers expenses, the Rainbow List reception and launch, filming of the event so we can share online with the people we need to reach.
You can donate via LGCM's CAFDonate page here - you can Gift Aid your donation if you're eligible, and you can see how much we've raised. If we raise more than we need for our activities at Synod, we'll use your gifts to pay for our LGCM members' day in March where we'll welcome all who want to be part of this new movement.
Think of this as your Valentine's greeting to the Bishops - for the cost of a card and a first class stamp (around a fiver, we reckon) you can send a really clear message - of love, pride, faith, hope and trust in God.