SYNOD MATERIAL BOOKLET: I am delighted that we ran out of copies last week in Largs! There are more copies at the back of both our churches this week. The booklet contains the “information for participants” in the Synod, which the Diocese has put together, plus the “Synod Questions” provided by the Vatican for all parishes in the world. I have added a little guide at the end to show how you might want to pray with the Synod questions. We have to remember that the Synod is a work of the Holy Spirit and he can work better with those who open their hearts and minds to him in prayer.
PREPARING FOR THE SYNOD ENCOUNTER: It would be good if individually and as groups, in your homes or elsewhere, you could prepare for the Synod. Prayer is a must, and we can all do that alone, of course. But perhaps coming together to read the Word and listen to the Spirit would be especially good (as I am sure some of you, at least, already do) as a way of “walking together” (“synod”).
A good thing could be to sit and write your own story of faith: the main people who influenced you and how; the main physical places you associate with your faith story; significant moments of change and growth in your journey; crises of faith. Your story is a journey, a path, one on which you have never really been alone since the Lord has walked with you (remember “footprints in the sand”!). Try to ask the Spirit to show you where your path could become an opportunity for others to grow in faith. Then, try and share it with close friends. It may seem risky, but worth it!
Some of the Synod questions might appeal to you more than others. Ask yourself why that is? Is there something you are resisting or hiding from?
If I have a question I can’t get my head round or find off-putting, I like to sit down and write it out in my own handwriting and then pull it apart into its constituent parts. Then I look at each part square in the face and wrestle with it until I get a handle on it. The point is to do whatever you find helpful to really grasp what the question is asking … and then really answer it!