Friday, 4 April 2008

Another week goes by

Another busy week, and a busy weekend ahead.

Tuesday and wednesday were spent at CLT (Connexional Leadership Team) at HighLeigh in Herts. I think my car knows its way there by itself! But it is always a good meeting with 'weighty' topics abounding.

Then, yesterday it was down to London to the Tony Blair lecture at Westminster Cathedral. I expected the security, but was unprepared for the protesters!

The lecturer was very impressive, as was the lecture. It wasn't that Tony B was saying anything that hadn't been said before, more that it was him that was saying it. Religions and Faith communities often are and can be a Good Thing, contributing wonderfully to humanity and the fragile planet we live on. Equally they can be divisive, isolationist, etc.

In this increasingly Globalised world peaceful co-existence is vital. Not 'melting pot, all religions are the same' but genuine respectful diversity. Religion can choose to be either 'open' or 'closed' - with his preference on 'open'.

He suggested that as the 'centre of gravity' goes east, and fast, the world is in crucial need of values. A humility before God is required.

He used the occasion to launch the Tony Blair Foundation, committed to pursue the Millennium Goals by helping faith communities to embody these, and together. b) to produce high quality material designed to educate and express what people of faith really believe.

In a final section he asked why, in the face of so much secularism, has religion not disappeared in the way that some suggested it would. Tony B's answer was the beyond all the dogma, ritual, etc is a profound yearning in humans, for spiritual betterment, putting aside self, and helping others.

Faith communities remain the most fertile potent networks in huge parts of the world, and governments and Religious groupings need garner resources to galvanise communities.

One funny incident. When he started there was a lot of noise from the back of the cathedral, which he naturally took to be heckling. It turned out however that it was folk at the back who couldn't hear (the sound system was appauling all night). Said TB 'I'm more used to people shouting that they can hear me rather than they can't!'

I was impressed. He appeared (and I believe) was genuine,in his own convictions and aspirations about his Foundation.

I write this having just arrived in the Bolton and Rochdale district for a weekend visit. So off to a Local Preacher evening, and hopefully more later over the course of the weekend.

No comments: