Positively Speaking…

I know no other way to describe the experience of General Assembly 2012 than that of “positive vibrations”. Positive for me is not to deny frustrations, anger, and concerns. It is to employ a different set of “eyes” to explore all of these and more in living conversations that will move each of us out of our comfort zones for the sake of Christ!

On one of my journeys to and from my hotel, I passed a group of tired early drinkers and smokers whom I greeted and who greeted me back, and asked “what’s happening down there (meaning the Spa)?” In short, I told them of a group of Christians singing, praying, having fun and risking all for the sake of Jesus. “Can we come down at meal times?” one asked. I replied, “Why not? Do come!!!” I cannot tell whether they turned up and were allowed in. I hope they did! For what would it have profited all our talking, singing, speaking, praying and moving resolutions if these are not connected to the real world around us?

I sensed from our conversations, through art, music, debates, struggling with tough matters, speeches, engagement, witness, telling of stories, praying, worship, Bible studies, history moments, input from Children’s Assembly, fellowship, renewing of friendships, awards, and celebrations etc., a positive and constructive grappling with  the diverse contexts we are located in and beyond.

Among the many Spirit-filled moments I encountered was our Sunday worship at St. Andrews and the walk of witness. Standing under the statute of a “tired” looking Queen Victoria, and elevated on that low-rising wall reminded me of a significant dimension of my calling and that of every Christian community – living and walking the way of Jesus in the Public Square. And, for those moments, when I was totally exhausted (yes I was and if only you know the hours of sleep possible!) the gift of music, words and singing enabled me to experience countless moments of resurrection.

During General Assembly, I referred to Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life (Jossey-Bass, 2011) underscoring that our failings can be the foundation for our on-going spiritual growth. In other words we grow spiritually more by doing it wrong than by doing it right! It is the story of my life. It is, I think, the story of our life together.

May our on-going living conversations, whatever shape these take, be courageous, trusting and bold! Grace abounds!!

Michael N. Jagessar

4 thoughts on “Positively Speaking…

  1. David Legge

    Another good story from you Michael, reflecting my wife’s conversation with a couple of gentlemen she encountered at the spa just after a meal – they did come in to ‘join’ us at least as far as the Cafe where hey will have picked up some of the atmosphere of our denomination.
    Your “conversing on and around the table: ‘the shape of our life together – a Eucharistic way of living’” (with Val) on Sunday was also full of inspiring ‘stories to pass on’. However, Assembly was such hard work (esp that Sunday Morning) that I find I have forgotten most ogf what you said. Would you and Val care to publish your conversation – either here on the blog, or in the GA website Resources page alongside your address etc.

  2. Michael N. Jagessar

    Thank you David. I will get Val’s stories along with mine and then add to the text of our main conversation and upload. Blessings, Michael j

  3. Revd Ray Anglesea

    Hi Michael

    Thank you for your reflections. I enjoyed reading them. I didn’t get round to ask you at Assembly – but where did you get your blue and red striped clerical shirts from you wore on the platform? The contact details of your clerical outfitter would be helful. Thank you.

  4. Michael N. Jagessar

    Dear Ray,

    I am not sure whether I replied to your email. I got the clerical from Wippels – you can find them online but you will need to order via telephone. Blessings, michael j

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