I got home late yesterday from the Natal West Synod in Gamalakhe near Port Shepstone.
For many of us Synod is a mixed blessing of watching the church in action and watching parts of the church in the final stages of rigamortis .
It was the first time that I actually read the 'blue book' (The agenda with resolutions, reports & other such miscellaneous) from cover to cover before arising at the Synod. I must admit this helped me understand the gist of the debate most of the time. It kept me engaged, that is until last day when the District finances were given. The finance committee of our district should get a medal for being inept but like all things in Rome they were nominated into position again.
I promised myself not to lean on the negative but to see the hand of God in the place. The addresses (bar the Bishops - my humblest apologies) were very good. Alfred Dlamini spoke on John 15 and re-emphasized the need for us not just to 'abide' in this church of ours but to bear fruit. Alan Bester gave two exhortations on the text from Luke 24 (Emmaus). The first one emphasized the shattered dreams of the two disciples Jesus met on the road to Emmaus and the second one he focused on 'burning hearts', 'opened minds' and telling witness of once he revealed himself to them. We were given time after the first message to respond as we examined our broken dreams etc.
I was also impressed by our three ordinands and their testimonies. I think it has been due to the years of having to do deep theological reflection throughout assignments and especially their practical 'transformation assignments' that showed itself at Synod.
There is no doubt that the Seth Mokitimi Seminary has injected a whole new dynamic to this district. Where once this district use to be a back water it now has representatives from the seminary that have upped the debate on the floor.
Although leaving with my brain half dead there was indeed light, but you had to look hard.
A quote from one at my table during Synod "The word became flesh and then the theologians made it words again".
Grace to you all,