‘Changing Attitude’ (UK) Newsletter March 2016

The UnseenLast weekend, I made an amazing discovery… I went to an exhibition of paintings at The Serpentine Gallery, by a Swedish artist called Hilma Af Klint, called “Painting the Unseen”. She was born in 1862, and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm from 1882 to 1887.

It was her story which initially captivated me; the work which she painted and exhibited to the public were conventional portraits, and landscapes. However, in secret she rejected this traditional representation, and instead used her acute observational skills to depict unseen worlds hidden within nature, and the spiritual realm.

These paintings, birthed in secret, pre dated the abstract works of the Surrealist Movement by several decades. For reasons only known to her, and the subject of conjecture for the rest of us, she chose never to exhibit these amazing abstract works during her lifetime, and in fact stipulated that they should never be seen until twenty years after her death (1944). As it happened they were not exhibited until 1986. Today contemporary artists have cited Af Klint’s cosmic abstraction as an inspiration, maybe bringing to fruition her prediction that one day she would be seen as a pioneer for future generations.

As I settled in front of some of these abstract paintings I was haunted by the question, why keep secret and hide your view of spirit and creation, and only present to the watching public the conventional images they were looking for.

Then it forcibly struck me… that is exactly what so many of our church leaders are doing. They present to the watching world a unified view when it comes to the full equality and inclusion of LGBTI folk into the life and ministry of the Church at all levels, yet privately many view things differently, but this private view remains hidden, apart from whispered conversations behind closed doors with a few.

In July, General Synod will be participating in the third and final circle of the Shared Conversations, and it is my hope and prayer that for the sake of genuine progress, Bishops, Clergy and Lay representative would simply find the courage to share how they really feel and see things, and not mouth words they think are expected of them, whatever tradition they may be rooted in. If Synod members, surrounded by loving support, were able to own their sexualities, and share what their inner eyes were seeing, then like Klint they may be regarded as the pioneers we so badly need for future generations.
Jeremy Timm
National Coordinator

Trans News with Tina 
Following on the success of the Twilight People, Stories of Faith and Gender Exhibition at Islington Museum, you are warmly invited to attend the Trans* * faith symposium, 5th May at the University of Warwick.. This event is a platform for the much needed dialogue across religious/spiritual and LGBTQIA+ communities to meet, share experiences, and discuss trans and non-binary gender issues in a faith context. Click here for more info.

Launch of the SIBYLS’ book. 
‘This is my: hearing the theology of transgender Christians’ published by DLT, will receive its initial UK launch at the Trans* & Faith Symposium. You can still pre-order your
copies at the discount price of £10 (including p&p) – details here.

Welcoming& Open Congregation of the month

St Nicholas, LeicesterSt Nicholas Church Leicester

“For over 1200 years, this lovely church in the heart of Leicester city centre has welcomed visitors, pilgrims and worshippers, you are following in their steps and we welcome you to our website in the Name of our Lord Jesus.

We hope you will come and visit us soon, especially if you live in the Leicestershire area.

If you would like to worship at a Church which truly values all who enter its doors, (irrespective of their social, racial or cultural background, gender or sexual orientation.) you will find a warm welcome at St. Nicholas.”

Very encouraging to see a list of links to supportive groups – St Nicholas’ expresses its commitment to inclusion very clearly.

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LGCM’s 40th Birthday Celebrations!
We hope to see some of you there celebrating LGCM’s milestone Birthday in May.

LGCM 40th Anniversary

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As an on-line recipient of the U.K. ‘Changing Attitude’ Newsletter, I am happy to pass on selected parts of the March, 2016 issue to readers of my blog.

I’m sure that you who are interested in the Church being opened up to ‘All Believers in Christ’ will be happy to read of the various activities undertaken by this organisation, in pursuit of the open support of LGBTQI people in the Church of England.

I was glad to read of the advertised presence of  The Very Revd. Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford to give an address at the Meeting at St. Botolph’s, London, to celebrate 40 Years of the LGCM.

Such news of activity – by mainly Church of England clergy and people – cannot but encourage those of us in other churches of the Communion to continue to strive for an open welcome to the minority of people who are still disappointed at the ongoing unwillingness of the Church to welcome them as equal and beloved members of the Body of Christ.

Despite the surface protest of the Church, that it no longer upholds sexism and homophobia, there is still a disturbing undercurrent of social apartheid relating to people whose sexual orientation happens to be different from the majority – as though such people are guilty of a perverse rebellion against propriety.

Here, in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Polynesia, there is still a long way to go before LGBTQI people can feel welcomed in all but a few of our churches and congregations – to the extent that there is now a group of local Anglicans professing their ‘Anglican orthodoxy’ in the GAFCON-originated sodality called the ‘Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans’ formed locally to battle the local Anglican General Synod’s attempt to bring a rite for the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions into our Church (ACANZP).

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About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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