As the Church of England struggles to reach a common mind
about ordaining women as bishops – and much else!
Wise words from China?
In the 1800s Christian missions from Europe and the Americas invaded China. In their baggage they imported and planted the diverse traditions and differing perceptions of the Gospel which were derived from fractious European church history. In May 1922 their Chinese Christian disciples met in Shanghai, and formed their own National Council of Churches with this maxim:
Agree to Differ
Resolve to Love
Unite to Serve
In reaching agreement the devil is in the detail, as the Church of England House of Bishops knows well. The Greeks had a word for ‘the one who throws one against another’ – the ‘diabolos’. So long as the diabolic spirit prevails, it shackles the spread of the good news of the self-giving God of Love.
In Liverpool, Hope Street links the Catholic and Anglican Cathedrals. Archbishop Derek Worlock and Bishop David Sheppard put on record how they fulfilled in Liverpool what those Chinese Christians had resolved in Shanghai, choosing for their co-authored book the title: ‘Better Together’.
Liverpool’s Chinatown has an ornate entrance arch as do Chinatowns worldwide. Sydney’s arch proclaims in Chinese: ‘All seas over, we are all sisters and brothers.’
May all meetings of Bishops, Clergy and Laity assembling separately or together, every PCC, Synod, Council of Churches and Lambeth Conference use and keep in mind the Chinese Christian arrow prayer ……
Agree to Differ, Resolve to Love, Unite to Serve –>
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