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Showing posts from March, 2009

A community approach to Christian education

The reading for this week's Christian Education class is on different approaches to Christian Education. Being that I will be involved with the creation of a new community this year, I read the chapter on a community approach.  Don't have too much to say, other than that the key elements of community education of  service, reflection and communion  evoked the following parallels for me:  all of life, identity, ritual (all leading to wholeness) outward focus, inner life nurture, embracing the transcendent/ immanent / sacred collective story (of wider community), my story / our (smaller community) story, God's story -  which all equal the Sacred Story

oral communication and the relationship between speaker and listener

Have you heard church leaders, preachers, theologians bemoan the lack of ability of congregations today to listen to a sermon? Listening audiences are accused of having short attention spans, requiring multi-media delivery of a message, not valuing oratory. But is this true, or fair?  Should the 'blame' be shouldered, at least in part, by the preacher?  I suggest that we have lost the ability to communicate orally, not just to listen attentively and to hear.  Can we regain the skills of oratory, utilise tools of performance, and once more hold an audience for longer than 13 minutes (a time suggested in a book called The Prodigal Project as the ideal length for a sermon)? Can we help listeners learn again to be attentive for longer, to hear a message and hold onto it after the blessing and the handshake at the door?  And should we even strive to achieve these goals? Should we even bother? Or do we abandon the oral communication of our sacred texts for the more culturally popular mul…

the naked fish

I just finished reading a book called The Naked Fish. It's by Ian Hansen, and Australian educator, and it's tagged as an autobiography of belief. I enjoyed it. Why?  As an autobiography of belief, it takes us through the author's life and the people and events that have shaped his relationship with and understanding of God. The final chapter sums up the shift Hansen made from relatively conservative understandings of God, faith, etc., to what he describes as a 'critical liberal' position at the time of writing the book. I appreciated the language of transcendence and imminence throughout, and of course the connection of art and spirituality that resonates for Hansen also resonates for me.  Towards the end he speaks of God as process, rather than being (which often involves humans making God in our image). I've had conversations with others on these lines, and I still think of God as being in some way, but not a being - rather the being in whom we have our existen…