Sunday, Feb 27, 2005: “Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel; Chapter 3”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel, by Rowan Williams
Chapter 3: “Communities of Resurrection”
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Discussion Led By Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, February 27, 2005


GROUP DISCUSSION:  During times of insecurity fundamental types of religion can be very comforting in that they give exact answers.  Believe and you are saved.  In many of the mainline denominations, discussions seem to be a more intellectually higher level, and therefore more difficult to fully understand.  Fundamentalism has grown substantially in the past fifty years.  It began a small, poor ministry with the theme that even though we are tiny and in the minority “God is with us!”  Now that they are the majority and have gained significantly in wealth, God is still with them!  Look how he blesses us!  Just looking at the news today reminds us of our own sinful nature even within Christian communities.  There are the scandals within the Roman Catholic Church and the gay bishop issue within the Episcopal Church that have caused much concern.  In the Eucharist, we are living in that period between the betrayal and the resurrection.  We are guilty and restored and is symbolic of the entire life of the church.  There was discussion on the openness of the Eucharist, which varies widely within the Christian community.  Some churches allow participation to all persons, even those not baptized.  The Episcopal Church requires that person to be baptized, and the Roman Catholic Church and others require you to be a member before being allowed to receive.  The explanation for the Episcopal exclusion is that non-Christians may not acknowledge the role of Jesus at all.  So what would be the purpose of taking Holy Communion?  Confirmation used to be required until it was recognized that we enter into Christianity through the sacrament of baptism.  The Roman Catholics also believe in the ancient concept of transubstantiation where the “substance” changes, but the “accident” remains the same.  Episcopalians are taught to believe basically the same thing but are not particular about exacting definitions.  The main idea is that Christ is present!