Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Well.... well....

I've been back being a regular student for a few weeks now. I have one class I adore and two that--well--they will end at quarter's end. The class entitled Introduction to Christian Religous Education, while interesting and all, is making me crazy today. We have to do group projects. I hate group projects. I am an introvert for heaven's sake. Plus, the selection of books to present on, plus dates to present, left me stuck with a book that is not interesting to me--just because that's the time frame that worked in terms of other deadlines I have. So I started reading the book. I hate the book. The author is incapable of writing without using words like "kerygma" and "diakonia" and etc. when these can be translated into words a body might actually understand. I am not more convicted of the message because of these words. In fact, I am less convicted of the message. To me, the entire point of the book is to say this: look, folks, when you are a church anything and everything you do is teaching somebody something. And you would do well to look carefully at what you think you are doing and at what messages you actually convey. Because you have the opportunity to come off with integrity or come off like a bunch of idiots. Choose wisely. Unfortunately this message is far too simple for our author; besides, to present effectively, the author would have to lose a ton of education-ese and add a ton of practical information. Like, oh, I dunno, EXAMPLES. Also the author would have to lose a ton of communitarian bias including the blatant statement, "to be is to be with." Apparently the whole idea these days is that the individual has been overdone at the expense of the community. Perhaps so, but it does not then follow that the individual, taken alone, is without merit. Spoken as an introvert who would find a full academic day of "engaged pedagogy" in the sense of dialog/dialog/dialog and group interaction/group interaction/group interaction completely overwhelming, I want to say, no value, eh? OH YEAH??? It takes much longer to read a book when I have to go pick it back up again after I've thrown it across the room every few pages. Plus, there is some inconsistency to my mind in the ideas that (a) ministry has to be done IN THE REAL WORLD where people live and (b) the CHURCH should be the community where learning happens and the drain of ministers into other settings via the vehicle of CPE is bad because it takes ministers away from the church. Now, this book was published in 1989, so the material is actually very, very dated, but from my perspective it may be that I have had the chance to do ministry in chaplaincy because the church as community has lost meaning to people for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with CPE.


I have to rant sometimes. I will stop now and get some sleep!


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