[ACNS] Delegates from 11 countries gathered in the Cypriot town of Larnaca last week for a synod meeting of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf under the of theme “Intentional Discipleship”. The subject was a theme of the Diocesan Bishop, Rt Revd Michael Lewis, in his opening charge.
He told the meeting of clergy and laity:
“Our identity as Christians today is exactly what it was for Andrew and Peter, James and John, Matthew and Thomas and all the rest and ever since – disciples first...”
“Disciples, by grace, learn. Disciples, if they accept the challenge, walk the road Christ walked.” But he cautioned that “learning in order to be somehow qualified is... not the true end of discipleship of Christians.”
Synod members had opportunities to explore the theme in a series of break-out sessions. In particular they were encouraged to evaluate and consider ways in which the Church is equipping its members to be witnesses to Christ’s love.
The Synod also heard a series of lectures from the former Dean of Winchester diocese, the Very Revd James Attwell. He spoke on a number of topics including Creation, Liberation and the Kingdom of God – and linked all of them to main theme of the Synod.
The itinerary also included a visit to St George’s Mavrovouni Monastery where the Abbott, Simeon, encouraged the delegates to ensure they took their faith seriously. It was a call which Bishop Michael returned to in his closing remarks when he said: “the only way in which we are going to hold our heads high in any context whatsoever, is by living out our faith in Christ.”