A lovely end to a lovely hui, with presentations from Hone Kaa, Bishop Winston Halapua, and myself on Anglican ecclesiology in practice; some questions; a wrap up reflection by Bishop Victoria; small groups on two questions: one thing to take home, one hope for the church; eucharist; lunch; shuttle; plane; home.
But was it too lovely? We certainly practised respectful conversations well. But the topic (church and scripture) was soft relative to the next hui (sexuality and scripture). How deeply did we engage with Scripture? I think we found in some groups (at least) that it was easy to move from reading Scripture to discussing the topic at hand. But Hermeneutics is a 'thick' reading of the text in which the text is read more than once, read in conjunction with wider reading of related resources (Bible dictionaries, commentaries etc), and (where possible) read in original languages. The read again and again to test a proposed understanding of the text to see if it is coherent with the text. A challenge for next time, and between now and then, back in our dioceses and hui amorangi, will be to do some serious hermeneutical work. These two hui have given us some tools, some insights, and some motivation ... let's get on with it!
In another post I will offer a few more reflections which work from remarks made here and there in formal and informal settings; remarks which I judge to give insight into the mind and mood of our church. Here is one reflection to finish this post with: what is going to be more important to us as the conversation continues, our personal stories or the story of God revealed through Scripture? There were signs (emphasise: signs, not more than that) that our mood as a church is to bring out our personal stories as a response to the story of God revealed through Scripture, should one seem to be out of synch with the other.