Post the first from the conference (see yesterday)

So, the conference has begun. I am not sure what the collective noun for Baptist Ministers would be:

A splash?
A hubbub?
An ostentatious humility?
A dissent?

Whatever it is, we have got one.

The collective noun for ‘Christians’ is ‘church’. We are church when we are together. At this conference we are a temporary expression of church and represent¬† a microcosm of the gathering of churches together into the collective noun for churches: Church.

We are a diverse group. Wonderfully we’re far less male than in the past and we may be getting younger (well, on average). And that’s a strength of any church: inclusive diversity.

At the vicar factory that turned me into a minister we learnt about the Homogeneous Unit Principle – that churches that are full of similar people grow faster because people are more comfortable with those who share their outlook on life. Well that may be so, but it is a pale imitation of a church that is diverse and inclusive of all. HUP is bland and insular by comparison to what church should be.

We’re not perfect, but please God make us as inclusive and accepting as you are.

Be blessed, be blessing.

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