What do we do when we are divided and want the opposite to one another? We face this as a country after the vote for Brexit. We are split in half. A small majority will take us out of the EU, but then what? Can we ever be a united country again?
The Church is also divided. I have just come back from the General Synod in York. We decided to do something about our divisions over sexuality. For 48 hours, we met for conversations. We learned about one another and why we believe what we do. There were tears, hugs, laughter, profound insights and differences. I left exhausted, but hopeful that we can walk together into the future.
We still disagree. But now we understanding better where that disagreement comes from. Most importantly we have stronger relationships. We see less of an issue, and more of the people it affects. What we did was meet, share our stories, talk about our beliefs, and listen to those with whom we disagree. It was all surrounded by prayer.
So as we try to find a way forward after the referendum, the church’s conversations might have something to offer. Let’s try this: find someone who voted the opposite way to you. Listen to them hard and carefully. Learn about their story. Ask them why they voted that way. Be prepared to share your story and reasons for voting. It probably won’t make you both agree, but you might understand one another more. If you pray, then pray for them, for yourself and for the future of our country.
From The Derby Telegraph Faith Files 16.7.16.