Wednesday, January 9, 2013

With white knuckles and gritted teeth

Reading this short account of James Godfrey highlighs the breadth of ministry agents serving in diaconal ministry in the Uniting Church, and of the way that diaconal ministry often calls for 'white knuckles and gritted teeth' to hold in tension the often competing challenges of diaconal ministry and the institutional church, and also highlights the particular strengths of character and resolve required to remain attentive to the call of diaconal ministry.

'James Godfrey has four children under six years old. Let’s just sit with that for a moment. When I first met him he had a fairly impressive Mohawk, and once described to me the rumble of his motorbike as ‘like music’. Lead into ordained ministry through experiences working with people on the margins of society, he talks about the Uniting Church as being a place of welcome “that has accepted me and all my idiosyncrasies, and provided channels through which I can serve the Gospel”. He remembers the revelation of the formational process. “It revealed to me”, he wrote, “my own appetite for autonomy and authority … my impatience with the frailties of the church. With white knuckles and gritted teeth I have let myself go”.

(from an article by Bethany Broadstock,

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