Well I have just finished four days of speaking in Melbourne, and I have to say it was a privilege. I hope that the talks and presentations will enable some real experimentation and permission giving to create risk. There is real potential here in Melbourne, as long as people go for it.
Everywhere I go, I always find it such a surprise, that people really are surprised about the Trinitarian & Mystical Communion basis to the Anglican Church. There is a lot of fear, that I pick up. Fear of the rise of fundamentalism at one end of the church, and withdrawal from the world at the other. I hope that the talks I have done will promote re-engagement – an incarnational approach to mission and evangelism. So we will see what happens. But thanks Melbourne Diocese, I have really benefited from your inclusion of me in your training plan this year.
I really enjoyed the consultation day today with senior clergy from around the Diocese exploring the development of emerging and fresh expressions of church. It seemed to me to be an issue of encouragement and vision, given how this tradition has much to offer the more post-secular elements centred on spiritual tourism. So we discussed what is going on in context with spiritual tourism, a Trinitarian Ecclesiology and Missiology, and models of church such as New Monasticism as a form that can live this out.
But, as usual, the issue remains about how to focus on being and doing post-Christendom activities in a church and structure that still is very Christendom. I was really impressed by Bishop Stephen of the Eastern Region, who is seeking to give real encouragement for experimentation, and helping sacramental Anglicans to explore a post-Christendom form of mission and ministry centred on apostolic creative activity.
I hope today catalyses activity and collaborative ministry amongst this very capable constituency. But it requires risk taking and experimentation.