particularly special. They are so normal for us, we assume everyone else must be able to do the same things we do and respond to the world in the same way.
The vote at the Anglican Synod which narrowly rejected the proposal to allow women to become bishops has angered and dismayed folk both inside and outside the Church of England. It also plays to the notion that God calls by gender, rather than by giftedness. In the same way, some of us have been told that God saves by sexuality, rather than by grace. We know that the God we serve is beyond human ways of dividing up people into “worthy” and “unworthy”. Jesus chose the most unlikely group of people to share in his ministry and went out of his way to spend time with individuals that society had placed on the margins.
Whenever we meet prejudice and ignorance, we need to challenge it. This might be by specific actions, such as signing the petition against the proposed anti LGBT legislation in Uganda (click here to sign). It may be by how we promote other ways of doing and being. I wear a red ribbon every day, as a gentle reminder to anyone who notices it that AIDS has not gone away.
World AIDS Day is on Saturday 1st December. More than 90,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 33.3 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
At MCC Newcastle, we join in the WAD events each year and also have our own WAD service. Having a vibrant Christian presence at these events reminds people that God does not punish people through illness, any more than God saves by sexuality or calls by gender.
Wear your red ribbon this week – it makes a difference.