Saturday, 6 June 2009

Living with fragments or fragmentation?

Amongst many themes we are looking at during this final weekend of our leadership training session is the issue of trying to hold on to a vision of the whole and avoid fragmentation.
I've been wondering whether I really understand or believe this since I heard it for the first time yesterday - after all I've been blogging quite a bit about fragments in quite a positive way recently. I suppose though that "living with the fragments" is not the same as being in a state of fragmentation. I think I could even grope my way towards saying that living with the fragments is actually a way of resisting fragmentation and keeping the whole in view - or trying to keep the whole in view.
Part of me also wondered though, whether this insistence on having to keep the whole in view is not also quite a Roman Catholic way of looking at the organisations and congregations of religious life. A way of saying "don't forget you belong to the church", don't forget the higher authority. Perhaps I'm wrong about this, after all Presbyterian Reformed have a strong sense of authority for church order residing the systems and structures of the church, of authority being shared. This is also not fragmentation.
One of the phrases Christine Anderson used today that really appealed to me is how those in apostolic consecrated life (of the 32 participants on the course I am the only one for whom this is not the case) today are called to "live in the crevices" of society, alongside the people a fragmented society has forgotten. Perhaps this is actually another way of talking about and calling people to live with the fragments.