Over the past week and a half I've been trying to get my mind around my thoughts and feelings. I had a very good time, mind you. Draining, but good, but I still left with an overarching feeling of disappointment.
Don't ask me what I was expecting, because I really don't know. I suppose in my mind I realised that what happened was all I really expected to happen. I suppose what I didn't expect was just how much of a minority position inclusivness is. I had to wonder, if all of the bishops who were for the full inclusion of all of God's children into all sacraments of the church - regardless of whether or not there was a scriptural justification for it (the church is good at working on those later), if all those bishops took a vote - I wonder then, what we would find. That would, of course, till leave out people who are exclusive because of the "ick" factor - the "having sex with someone of the same sex is icky" factor (real mature, right?).
I also have no patience for bishops who won't take the Eucharist with people they disagree with or because they disagree with the celebrant over some issue. We are Anglicans, not Donatists. That is simply bad theology and there is no excuse for that.
But truly, while in the stewards programme most of the young adults didn't seem to feel that LGBT stuff was a "core doctrinal" issue, many were still against it, for scriptural reasons. This brought me to another disappointment: that the reasserters and the reappraisers aren't talking to each other - they are talking past each other - about very different things.
Many reappraisers are over the scriptural issues, so they don't realise how many of the reasserters, or even moderates are still caught in them. Upon mentioning the importance of using scriptural references for inclusion - or at least explaining why the reasserters usage of scripture is inaccurate, a reappraiser priest said to me "well they already know that, we've told them that."
Well actually, no, they don't, and no, we haven't.
Religion, and Christianity, and Church and being Anglican, means very different things to different people.
I'll admit, to me, on the most basic level, they all represent unconditional love. This does not mean condoning all sorts of behaviour - especially when we fall short of behaviour that shows love and kindness to others. Yes, of course it isn't that simple, Christianity isn't that simple, but I do believe that that is where I begin.
So I suppose that I'm proud to be part of a vibrant, living communion with people striving to live Christ's love the best they can, I'm also a bit disappointed that in many ways the Anglican Communion isn't what I thought it was. That people aren't doing what they said they would do - that a true variety of opinions aren't being heard where they need too, and that people are so wrapped up in their hurt that we can't move on or feel each others pain.
I keep trying to sound uplifted when I talk about Lambeth and it isn't that I'm not grateful for the opportunity -I am, but - I've been trying to sound uplifted since about two weeks into the trip, but in all truthfulness, my confession is that in many ways it feels more like a burden.