Sunday, Oct 21, 2007: “A Wing and A Prayer: Part 4 (cont’d.)”

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 21, 2007

Part Four (cont’d.): 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.”

Starting with the story about “Finding God in the Differences,” it was noted that the focus was on community and not the individual.  It was noted that the description of the Trinity was very interesting.  Also, some found it hard to be able to accept that we should all look at other people in the same way, whether they are friend  or foe.  The author seems to repeat this theme over and over again, yet many find it difficult to accept.

It may also be difficult to associate an evil person with God.  Another example is when the Bible uses the image of God as father.  This could be a problem for abused women to accept, for example.  Another example is a child raised by her grandparents due to parents that abandoned her.  The Bible also notes, “Could a mother forget her own child?”

The trends in school organizations are now to make more smaller schools of less than 300-400 students.  This is thought to promote community.  Sometimes organizations turn back to their previous styles.  Sometimes young new companies grow into large bureaucracies.  Old concepts also return in church groups.

It was noted that change can be good in that enthusiasms tends to accompany change.  However, sometimes when things change they result more inefficiencies.  In teaching today, there seems to be too much accountability.  The teachers have very little freedom left to try anything different.  Many classrooms now are simply geared toward teaching only what is necessary to pass the state mandated tests.  The teachers can no longer adapt their curriculum to the needs of individual students who need the most help.  However, there are also many other distractions in the classrooms such as the Internet and cell phones.

In private schools where the parents pay tuition and are highly involved with their sons’ and daughters’ educations, the success rate is very high.  There is also the move towards home schooling as another alternate form of education.  The big difference seems to be the parents and how much they focus on their child’s education.