Earlier on this summer the United Reformed Church elected two women to be its moderators for the next two year period. I feel a bit bad for not blogging about this at the time but I was on a bit of a depressed blogging holiday in June and July. Anyway I have just discovered that Val Morrison and Kirsty Thorpe are writing a blog about their experiences in the job and it's good mix of their thoughts, encounters and experiences.
I was interested to see that Kirsty has been at Labour Party Conference this week (Val will attend the Conservative Party conference next week).
The paragraph below from Kirsty's post set me thinking about how we describe people - do we describe people from a Christian background as "atheist Christian" but Ed Milliband is described as "atheist Jewish" ... It was interesting for me listening to Ed Milliband's speech that he also made reference to "not walking by on the other side" and I found myself thinking ... that's a very new testament reference. Then I wondered whether I would have had such a thought had a non-believing member of the shadow cabinet from a nominally Christian background made the same remark. Knowing me probably I would but it made me think about language and culture - in the labour party the language of the Bible is also part of the culture of the party.
Anyway enough passing thoughts from me, here's part of what Kirsty wrote and good luck to her and Val as they go around the country on behalf of the church over the next two years. Hope they continue to blog:
A few generations ago, a church leader might have been preoccupied with questions such as whether we could have confidence in an atheist Jewish party leader, who’s not yet married to the mother of their children. Today, those issues seem far less relevant to me than how this autumn’s cuts will impact communities across Britain. The churches are well placed to alert MP’s to places where the pain becomes too much for people to bear. From what we heard this week and last, there are plenty of politicians of all hues who expect us to be in touch with events around our churches, and who are waiting to hear from us how things look on the ground when the budget cuts bite.