Sunday 22 September 2013
Listening to a discussion on next year’s referendum on Scottish independence I was struck by the dimensions in which leadership has to operate: social, cultural, political and economic, sometimes relating to one another and sometimes not.
We recently marked 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King and celebrated the enormous contribution he made to a multi-racial USA. His guiding light and source of power was the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a particularly Christian view of rapprochement and redeeming love. At the Millennium many folk did memorable things; my wife Kath and I went onto Clapham Common at midnight and she declaimed ‘I have a dream’. Martin is with us still!
Last Sunday’s service to dedicate our new processional cross demonstrated another form of leadership here at St. Martin’s. A lovingly crafted service led us on through inspiring music and readings. This culminated, appropriately in a procession around the church with a large and largely new congregation being led by a dramatically new cross which in its fragility asked questions. In the same way that a story read out about Peter Abelard asked ultimate questions about God’s purpose and loving nature. We were reminded too about the leadership of service in the formation a new St. Martin’s venture, the St Martin’s International Group which aims to offer sanctuary to a particularly deprived group of overseas, homeless refugees. A rather moral leadership which crosses many boundaries to reach those patently most in need.