Sunday, Oct 14, 2007: “A Wing and A Prayer: Part 4”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
“A Wing and A Prayer”, by Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori
Group Discussion Series Led By Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, October 14, 2007


Part Four: Pages 61-88


The group discussed various aspects derived from Part Four:  FUNNY PURPLE SHIRTS — The Church.  The sections in the book included:  “In the New Millennium” / “Walking on Water” / “Finding God in the Differences” / “Traveling Light” / “Lab Report” / “Sibling Rivalry” / “The Family Table” / “Live Long and Prosper / and “Everybody in the Pool.”


The first story starts out with the image of a boat and walking on water.  The comment was made that it is indeed a very nice image, but how do we accomplish a task such as that?  It was then noted how the role of the pastor may change depending upon the size of the church.  In a very small church of less than 50 participants each week, there is typically involvement from nearly all of the members.  In a “pastoral” size church, it is common that the minister takes over more of the roles.  In a very large church, often the clergy must take on more administrative types of duties or hire a staff to do so.  A more common experience is that is seems like 10% of the parishioners are the ones who do 90% of the work!


It was then noted in some less densely populated states such as Nevada, many of the churches do not have full-time rectors.  This is also very true in parts of our own diocese.  In those cases lay people lead the services.

Articles entitled “The Predicament of the Tolerant” by Horace Meyer Kallen and “A Lust for Certitude” by Robert Towler were mentioned as examples of cases where some people and followers of certain religions know that theirs is the only one and they feel compelled to sway you likewise.  Did Mother Theresa, for example have “certitude?”  Jefferts Schori promotes that we should “compel” our guest to come into our church services.  How strong of an action is to compel?


We were then reminded of some of the writings from Luke and Acts of the Apostles.  In regards to Jesus’ visit to Nazareth, it was known that it was a very conservative town.  Capernaum, on the other hand, was made up of some very mixed groups of people.  After the death of Stephen, everyone left except the apostles, and those who did leave accepted not only the Jews, but other groups as well.  This is somewhat analogous to the situation with the Anglican Church today.  The Episcopal Church accepts the conservative preaching of Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola, but is also accepts gays and lesbians into the church, considering those groups also to be God’s creation.  Other parts of the Episcopal Church have chosen to join forces with Anglican Bishop John Rucyahana, who follows some very strict guidelines as dictated by the Nigerian government.


Many religions “proclaim the truth!”  The question was raised as to what exactly that  meant, since from at least a scientific viewpoint, we don’t really know “the truth.”  Will we finally get it right at the second coming or at the end of time?  We really can’t afford to wait that long!