Monday, July 30, 2012

A beautiful day in the neighborhood....

A great day today! The weather was gorgeous - low humidity - low 80's. I had to wear jeans to class instead of my usual shorts for fear of being cold.

And, speaking of my class, WHOA! IT ROCKS!

I say that after having to do a class intro of 'sharing.' You know that when someone makes you "come out from behind your tables and sit in a circle" you are in trouble...especially if you are introverted. But, we each had to spend one minute giving a small-talk introduction of ourselves, and then we had to take a breath, and give a one minute introduction that included something we would not normally tell. I was skeptical at first, but I have to say, the exercise upped the level of trust in the class and that set the tone for the rest of the week.

The class is called Ministry on the Frontier, and it's all about what we are called to do in relationship with "post-modern" people - it's about the church. The professor is the really cool dude who seems very knowledgeable and very realistic about what ministry looks like in our post-modern world. I just love that I got to write "post-modern" in my blog! The one remark he made today that really struck something in me was this: Ministers feel the tension of being called in two directions. You are the mid-wives helping give birth to a new kind of church. You are the hospice chaplains serving and ushering other parts into death.

YES! That is it. He said a bunch of other stuff, too. But, I thought he really nailed the dual nature of ministry today (and not just from us clergy). We ARE trying to give birth to something new - as one of our authors wrote, "we find ourselves in the middle of something real and something wrong in Christian faith." And figuring out how to be faithful during this unraveling is no picnic - lots of obstacles, lots of unknowns...and lots of people don't give a hoot about the church - "hoot" is my word, this professor dude was not as polite. His point was that the church has lost influence and respect - so, what do we do?

This is going to be a thought-provoking class. It is going to be a strong finish!

The only downside is that the music building is locked by the time I get no piano. But, the upside is that I took a walk this evening and saw lots of dogs...can't wait to walk Mr. Max.

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