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“Ah yes, I remember it well,” Maurice Chevalier warbled in the musical Gigi. And then immediately proved that he didn’t remember it well at all.
I remember a gathering of about 30 people at am Anglican retreat centre north of Toronto, to thrash out the policies that would guide a United Church committee for the next few years. Like Chevalier, I remember it, but not well.
The one thing I remember for sure was the summation by Terry Anderson, then professor of ethics at the Vancouver School of Theology. Terry had been brought in as something called a “theological reflector.” His job, he explained, was not to influence us. It was to identify the theology he observed in our discussions and debates.
And what he said has stuck with me ever since:
“What the United Church really believes in is not any statement of faith or doctrine. What the United Church believes is that if it follows the right process, if it brings together the right mix of individuals, from the right mix of regions and interest groups, they can’t help coming up with the right answer.”
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: ethics, United Church, Process, Vancouver School of Theology