Friday, July 16, 2010

Sacraments and Culture

Today our 'intensive' at seminary was dedicated to the sacraments. Some of the stuff was pretty much as it has to be, but some was really interesting in that we began to engage with the differences between the black and English-speaking churches. As far as Communion is concerned the black part of the church's theology and practice seem to be very much more closely related to that of the Roman Catholics than that of English-speaking Methodists. They have a greater respect for the elements, attach a greater importance to symbolism and ceremony and perhaps less to personal devotion. Most of this surfaced - with many seminarians seeming to prefer to move away from this towards what is expected in the constitution of the Methodist Church. There is never enough time, though, to work through the issues. Also, I think that the debates would blow up quite soon. It will be very interesting to see the level of maturity and the group dynamic after two years of seminary - I am quite optimistic that it will be very positive.
We spent so much time laughing in our afternoon session today. It was Friday. Maybe we were tired. But I think we were being constructive and it can only be good if we are able to laugh together.

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