So, here we are the morning after. I'm not sure it feels any different this morning. Still hurts. Still feels personal (and I'm not even ordained - yet...). Still feels completely bonkers.
I am in Chichester Diocese (ok don't all shout at once) and to be honest it's pretty hard right now to be here and to stand up for the Church. Sniping, name calling and angry outbursts will not help the sitution but man it's tempting. It's funny how I preached on the weekend about being part of a community is like being in a family. sometimes there are disagreements and arguments, but the important thing is how we deal with them... ironic really as I'm pretty angry with The Church right now.
I actually cried when I heard the result. We were having dinner and I had been following the debate via twitter. I was actually in disbelief when I read the news. I think most had been so sure this would be carried through. My kids couldnt understand why I was crying, I tried to explain to them but I just don't get it, so how could I? I want my children, especially my daughters, to grow up in a church that really values them, not see them at a secondary level.
I'm not yet ordained, but I feel called to the Priesthood and having been accepted (ha!) I will start training next September. So to have this legislation fail is heart-breaking. I have no desire to be a Bishop but just imagine working for an organisation where you are not valued enough to be a Manager. In fact it's probably illegal, but either way, it's not exactly encouraging is it? Good managers encourage employees, doing what they can to build up their staff and get the best from them. Way to go CofE, great example of management...
2 weeks ago I felt pretty unencouraged by my Bishop. Now I feel even more so. I mean why would anyone want to work for an organisation like this? It is actually beyond me this morning. At the school gate I was asked what I thought ,by someone who is not even in the church, I just didn't know what to say. I am so angry and saddened, and yet this is MY church that I feel called into. Yet I just can't defend her at the moment. In the past when people have had complaints about the church I always say, that's the church not God. Look to him. And yet I, and lots of others like me or in ordained ministry, will this morning be facing the same questions - how can you work for an organisation like that? why do you let them disrciminate against you? How do you put up with it?
Well we do it because we love Jesus and right now that's what we all need to get us through this.
It's Jesus who calls us to lead and to minister, it's him who we serve and it's him that gives what all we need to do it. As women in the church we have two choices - 1) get angry and throw our toys out of the pram, or 2) with grace, fight on. Stand up for what we believe in, continue to do all that Jesus asks us to, and show the love that seems to be lacking in parts of the church this morning.