What roles have art and music played in worship history that we could reclaim today? Think about the importance of beauty in the lives of believers – how does this speak to the roles we give them today?
Do we consider communion with the same importance that the Church across the ages has considered it with? Is there a way to see baptism today that might be closer to the intentions of the early Church, and possibly the historic Church? How would this change our worship celebrations?
What can we learn from the journey of the Church as it has embraced prayer and scripture reading as central activities in its worship experience? Are we treating the scriptures in a healthy way in our integration of them into our worship expressions? How can we facilitate prayer in fresh ways in our communities?
Generally when we discuss constructive theological issues, its important to establish the authorities recognized by the participants, be it Revelation, Tradition, Scripture, Reason, or Shared Experience.
In many discussions, both scripture and traditional interpretation of scripture head up the list. Once those authorities are recognized, theological arguments often fall victim to cherry picking of select verses to back up a point.
Recently while looking over a Quaker response to the Lima text (aka Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, a publication of the World Council of Churches) from the London Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, I found a great paragraph in their discussion of that sort of biblical proof-texting:
What if we could see baptism as inclusively as we see communion, and really made it our own, got comfortable with it, reinterpreted it with the authority and power with which we celebrate communion week after week? (Wilson, Baptized paragraph 21).
Be aware of the gifts of time and space in your own worship history. Do you recall times and places that were meaningful to you in your own worship story? How could you begin some fresh thinking related to how time and space is a part of your own worship activity now?
Like many seminarians coming to the end of their studies, I’ve been reevaluating a lot of areas of my life. What will I study next? Where will I live? Should I move from my current apartment or stay for a year as I prepare to apply for doctoral programs? Is there a current call on my life? But among the complex issues that have been coming up again and again as of late, the topic of friendship has been at the fore.
Last week the APA released a new report regarding sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), more commonly known by some of its more common forms such as conversion therapy, reparative therapy or ex-gay ministries.
The Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation looks at a variety of published research findings from the 60’s through 2007 in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness and/or potential harm caused by the programs in question.