The Next Steps group opened the meeting by considering some materials that had been offered by LLF Advocates. A plan suggesting how groups might engage with the LLF Book was warmly welcomed. Draft guidance for using the resources with young people was discussed and it was agreed that further work needed to be done in consultation with the National Children’s and Youth Adviser.
A prayer was welcomed as a means of inviting individuals and churches to pray for the LLF process:
God, whose name is Love,
whose gift is life,
whose word holds all in being;
bless ‘Living in Love and Faith’ to your church
as we seek to grow together
into the truth of our humanity and longings,
into communities where all find welcome,
into the fullness that is your image in us;
through the Word made flesh,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
With the announcement that the July Synod is to be held remotely, the Group considered the best way that the Synod’s engagement with Living in Love and Faith could be passed on to the new Synod in November. It was agreed that this would involve a short presentation, together with an opportunity for Synod members to contribute their reflections and hopes relating to the ongoing LLF process.
“The Gift of the Church” is an educational resource that aims to locate the work of discernment and decision-making in a biblically and theologically grounded understanding of what it means to be church. The group made a number of recommendations for developing a draft further before circulating it more widely – including to the Reference Group and the College of Bishops.
The question of how to take forward the proposal of a working group on gender identity and transition was discussed. The work will need to be undertaken knowledgeably and compassionately as it will involve inviting people to come together among whom there are deep and painful divisions. The Group reconfirmed its commitment to supporting those most affected by questions raised by the work and to do so in a way that unequivocally assures every person to be loved and valued members of the Body of Christ.
The meeting closed in prayer.