November 29, 2007
Last class. Sad. I appreciated the effort to tie things together, but I would have rather done that as a group or in small groups than through lecture. I’m sure it was helpful for people who are in their first quarter, though. I was especially engaged while we talked about generosity and gift-giving. When I go back to my home church for good, I want to help them move through that rubric process to think about how we can be generous as a church (which we are) without requiring anything in return (which we do, unintentionally for the most part). I wonder, though, how possible it is to facilitate the process of awareness at a church as big as mine. I guess I’ll just have to start the conversation among the leadership in the church so that it will trickle down instead of trying to get it to spread upward. If anyone has any brilliant thoughts, I’m open to suggestions.
November 26, 2007
Wess did a great job lecturing today. It was really helpful to me to get a synopsis of Yoder’s book Body Politics since it’s been referenced several times this quarter. I had little idea what we were talking about before today. Now I find it useful to think of my church context in reference to the multiplicity of gifts. My paper deals with imperialism, so naturally I’d like to see the empowerment of the laity, especially including the congregation in vision-making and in identifying gifts and providing space to use those gifts in the church and local communities.
November 21, 2007
I really appreciated that we spent a whole class just talking about what it means to be an emerging church. I’m new to the whole concept, having first heard of it less than a year ago. So it was really helpful to me to have a few defined aspects to get a better idea of what exactly is being referred to when people talk about emerging churches and emergent theology.
November 19, 2007
Today was hands-down my favorite class all quarter. I’m really interested in the emerging church and how people are doing church differently, particularly by incorporating the arts and community commitments. We are relational creatures and long for intimate connection with each other. So it was really helpful to get a snapshot of what churches around the country and in the UK are up to these days in areas where “normal” church isn’t working. It makes me think hard, though, about my home church set in an area very much inculturated by Christianity. The way my church runs is very traditional mainline, but it works. It works really well in a lot of ways (notwithstanding the leadership issues I discuss in my paper on imperialism). So I’m trying to balance the way I’ve grown up with the interests and desires God is placing on my heart these days. Anyway, I really found today’s class helpful. Thanks for sharing!
November 14, 2007
Today’s class was really engaging with the discussion about nationalism and pledging to the flag. It’s interesting to think about the implications now after having pledged to the flag all through elementary school. I remember being so proud when I finally learned all the words, even though I had no idea what they meant. We do so many things mindlessly that it’s important to take time out to consider what we’re actually doing and why.
November 12, 2007
I appreciated the opportunity to talk in class today about the kingdom of God and how that relates to our individual papers. I was really challenged, again as I was last week, by the subversive nature of Jesus’ ministry. Staying within the rules yet breaking them…that’s such a challenging idea, especially when it comes to living out that example in contemporary society, in our different contexts.
November 8, 2007
I liked the kingdom of God discussion we had in the second part of the class. The list of aspects was really helpful to get a visual of what it means to be the kingdom of God. I especially appreciated thinking about what kinds of things about Jesus’ life on earth we can take and shift into today’s experiences (like subverting well-known stories to create a different message). I wish we had had time to discuss in groups after our individual time.
November 5, 2007
The documentaries…I don’t think it’s necessary to express discontent with the choice of presentation. Some thought-provoking comments were made, however. The colonial view of the priests, for instance, who were the unfortunate go-betweens, trying to keep the peace between the people and Rome. It’s a different perspective to consider that the priests seized Jesus and turned him over to Pilate in order to keep a massacre from occurring over Passover when so many Jews were visiting the city. It reminds me of one of the articles we read earlier this quarter, “Renewal Movements” by Horsley. He makes similar observations about the position of the Pharisees in Jerusalem at that time.
October 31, 2007
Our individual and discussion time were really helpful for me today because my paper is based on applying the Trinitarian model to my home church congregation. I’d like to continue thinking through practical application steps that will be realistic for my church to try. My most successful realization today is that unity does not dictate uniformity or conformity. Also, we may have a good idea, but if God’s not it in, that idea is best left for another time.
October 29, 2007
I really engaged with the lecture today. I think the subject matter was just what we have all been waiting for since the class began. I was really affected by the imagery of the rubber band versus the linked rings. I even talked to my dad about it tonight, and he said it reminded him of human body cells, all interlinked to form one unified body but not all one big blob cell that keeps enlarging. It’s an image that will stick with me, I’m sure, as I try to decide what I think about the church and the world and the missio Dei.
October 24, 2007
The concept that “race” is a scientific fallacy was quite a surprise for me today. I just never thought about it before. I have recognized the gradual shift in terminology from “race” to “ethnicity,” but I didn’t realize the history behind that shift. The idea that “race” was nothing more than an excuse to enslave others is sickening enough, but to perpetuate such an idea in current society surprises me. Now that we wrap our identities around our ethnic cultures, we can only work within that mindset since trying to eradicate it isn’t an option.
October 22, 2007
I enjoy our small group time in general, but today’s seemed perhaps unnecessarily prolonged. Because our paper outline is due Wednesday, I had hoped to cover more material in lecture. But I did appreciate the chance to discuss with my group the nature of nationalism in our own lives and our churches. It’s hard for me to think about my own nationalism because I was raised to have more of a global mindset. It was a good and worthwhile challenge for me to answer the questions in class today.