Spent the day in Stirling at the SEC's Listening Day. I was there with a job to do: facilitating one of the groups as it listened to and reacted to the stories of two witnesses. Would I have been there had I not been asked to do this? I don't know that I would, for I have already experienced the same format in Argyll, last autumn. But it was good to be with a roomful of people trying to engage with a pressing and urgent situation, even if I find frustrating the glacial pace of that engagement.
I felt sad that at least one gay person known to me was not there because he had chosen not to risk confrontation with still more homophobia in the church, for he would have been encouraged. I felt impressed by the insistency of Bishop Michael, whom I have not seen for 25 years, that something had to result from this day - impressed not least because here is someone who is still making uncomfortable demands in his mid-eighties. Something must indeed happen, for the spirit of independence which cheered me yesterday is apparent in the SEC and must not be allowed to sink beneath the waves of expediency and compromise.
There is much listening still to be done, as light is shone on the dark corners of our church and our assumptions. But for those of us who have long held that the darkness is no darkness at all, there must be the chance to walk forward. There are too many people for whom time is finite and the need great. Let's not fail them.