The Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England and MOSAIC are delighted to announce a new working partnership. This new partnership will strengthen the movement for wider inclusion within the Church of England as it brings together progressive and inclusive organisations working on a wide range of issues into a single space where we can encourage and support each other in the task that lies ahead.
OneBodyOneFaith have been working to find a way to support members who are seeking to engage safely with the Living in Love and Faith material, following their recent membership survey. To that end, OneBodyOneFaith will be working alongside MOSAIC to signpost safer groups at a diocesan and local parish level.
As an ecumenical organisation, OneBodyOneFaith seeks to partner with likeminded groups who work with specific denominations or traditions. MOSAIC is well placed via our network of local convenors to connect with individuals and churches at a grassroots level who are engaging positively with Living in Love and Faith.
To connect with your local MOSAIC convenor, you can find the full list here.
OneBodyOneFaith remain mindful that, for many, Living in Love and Faith is a process that cannot be engaged with, and they hope that this partnership provides space for each of their members to engage at the level which is appropriate for them.
It was great to have some key figures at the MOSAIC National Conference on Saturday 26th June 2021 and you can download the text of some of the speeches made by these key figures below.
The speech that seemed to grip the headlines of the national press was the one presented by the Bishop of Liverpool, The Rt Revd Paul Bayes who said that the Church of England should recognise same-sex weddings and be a place of inclusion and where local leaders can make decisions on whether to marry, or bless the marriage of same-sex couples. The full text of his speech can be downloaded here and the article written for The Guardian newspaper can be found here.
The Revd Rachel Wilson talked about an inclusive church, what it looks, smells & feels like and asked how a truly inclusive church might look. The full text of her speech can be downloaded here and we are sure it will challenge both church leaders and those in church congregations on how they include people from all walks of life.
Dean Govender used an analogy based on cheese to challenge the Conference about which direction they were heading in and how they would ensure that church remained relevant today. The full text of his speech can be downloaded here.
MOSAIC continues to campaign for a fully inclusive church where all can find dignity and fullness of life.
Although we managed to answer some questions during the conference, our apologies that we did not have time to answer them all – please see below further answers to your questions..
If anyone would like to become a convenor or join with an existing convenor please do get in touch. At the present time we are still looking for convenors in Newcastle, Sodor & Man, Peterborough, Derby and Lichfield.
Thank you also for your encouraging and positive comments which were very much appreciated by us all.
Yours in Christ
Mosaic Steering Group
How will Mosaic work in tandem with IC?
We work closely with Inclusive Church. One of our patrons is the Chair of Inclusive Church and we actively encourage people to support the organisation.
When will bishops who support full inclusion of LGBT+ people stand up and say so?
We cannot speak on behalf of the Bishops. However, we believe that working constructively with the Bishops of the Church of England and other stake holders is the way forward.
Is there a Mosaic group in the Midlands?
At present we have convenors in Southall& Nottingham, Birmingham, Worcester and Leicester.
Would it be possible to share the signed blessing?
Yes, here it is.
Are there people within Mosaic who would be interested in joining specific calls for action to campaign for change?
Yes please get in touch with the co-chairs (above)
Does Mosaic have a ‘to do’ list for campaigners, as well as well intentioned conversations?
Our current ‘to do’ list is to find a convenor for every diocese and to work with Nic Tall and IC to support candidates for GS. At our next meeting we will be looking at ‘next steps’ following the national conference in June.
The conference seems clergy heavy/ Is it possible to see more lay leads involved?
We agree with you. This is a priority for us and we have worked hard to rectify this with limited progress. If you know of anyone who would be interested, please do get in touch. It is also on our agenda for the next Steering Group meeting.
A sign post to the current convenors please?
You can find the full list of contacts in each diocese here.
If you are in the northern province, here are the direct links:
Where has graciousness got us? (Answered by Rev Tim Goode)
It has got us our theology of inclusion. It has given us a theology that guides us to fully and selflessly serve the other. It has offered us a lens through which we are able to discern the God given image of the other. It is through grace that we can discern that love goes beyond, that love is generous, that love is selfless, that love is vulnerable, that love is costly but ultimately the only way to live if we wish to see God’s ‘will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’
If the question is implying that graciousness should have got us somewhere, that it should be seen as a means to an end – a strategy so to speak, then we are going to be very disappointed. Grace is never self-serving – it can only be self-giving and self-emptying. It is a way of life.
Can Mosaic help us to think about what are/if there are limits to inclusivity? (Answered by Rev Tim Goode)
For God, no, there are no limits to inclusivity. There are no limits to God’s desire to be in flourishing and life-giving relationship with each and everyone of us. Inclusivity must be seen in terms of relationship. At Mosaic we wish to include; we wish to be in relationship; we wish for all God’s people to know that they are loved, valued and precious in God’s eyes. Our response to being recipients of God’s overwhelming and immeasurable love is to love our enemies as our selves. So, the start of this therefore is to not just acknowledge that we are loved but for our very sense of self to be open to the utterly transforming knowledge and experience of that love. As it states in psalm 139 v.14 ‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made’. Because I know that I am loved, valued and precious in God’s eyes, all I can do is worship. All our worship therefore is in response to the fact that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.
For us as human beings – we seek therefore to mirror God’s love, God’s generosity and God’s overwhelming hospitality. But ultimately the nature of relationship is that the other has the agency to not respond in kind. We then have to be aware of and monitor the safety of the relationship and reflect on our capacity to hold the ensuing tension. That will be a personal choice though not necessarily a unchangeable one, for we will be continuingly changing in and through being recipients of God’s love. It is why Mosaic states that ‘we seek safe and undefended conversations rooted and held in mutual respect and dignity’. Stepping back from a conversation because the conversation is not safe or healthy does not stop you loving the person you wished to be in relationship with or desiring to restart the conversation once it felt safe and healthy to do so.
The Northern MOSAIC Conference took place on Thursday 13th May 2021. The Revd Canon Timothy Goode addressed the conference about why MOSAIC is important and needed at the present time and asked some key questions to those who attended.
Within your own church and diocese who do you believe are excluded from full participation within the Body of Christ and how can MOSAIC be a partner for change?
How can we reframe conversations around inclusion and diversity within our churches and dioceses so that we move away from the need for winners and losers?
If you would like a copy of the full address, it is available for download here.
As the roll out of Living in Love and Faith (LLF) continues across the country, MOSAIC want to support individuals and parishes who are looking to engage with the course and material.
Gathered here are a series of links to resources and LLF material to help you with planning the course and how you can engage with your deanery/parish/PCC etc.
To get a flavour of LLF, start by viewing the launch video that can be found here and the introduction to LLF on their website here
To access resources, including the course booklet, the story films, podcasts, recommend wider reading & the pastoral principles go to the LLF Learning Hub where you can register to access all of the above for free.
To purchase a copy of the LLF book directly from Church House Publishing click here
If we can support your LLF journey in any way, please do get in touch we would be delighted to hear from you.