We had a series of religious assemblies yesterday - one for each year group. I toddled along to the second year one with about 200 youngsters aged
about 13/14 from an area of deep deprivation.
Not for us the Easter story with a few readings and maybe a song or two -oh no.
The American minister stood at the front of this group and for the next 20 minutes read the whole of the "I have a dream" speech word for word. He didn't bother to set the scene, or explain anything or even tie it up by saying what the message was. He didn't emphasise the best bits or show them a picture of Martin Luther King. He assumed that because this speech resonates with the American public that it would resonate with working class white children. The fire of Martin Luther King was missing and it wasn't even particularly well read. It was a disaster. To give the students their due, they sat there stoney-facecd and listened politely but it wooshed right over the heads of most of them.
It was an object lesson on how to turn people off religion. Don't American ministers get training in how to present and appeal, or maybe even teach? He's been in this country for about 2 years - it's not getting any better.
The speech in case you're not familiar with it
I do hope the minister in question isn't getting paid.
Ah, but he is - and a CoS salary too.
Did the minister realise that his speech did not go down too well?
Typical priest, happy to take the money and neglect the responsibilities.
Ministerial training is one of my bugbears.
Some can be very good - most C of E priests (who go through the normal route to ordination) will have a degree; many RC priests do not. Having said that, I've taught newly ordained C of E clergy who amazed me at some of the things no one had suggested they think about... (1)
As for some of the training offered to those (almost always men) in some of the newer denominations... well, let me say that in my experience at times there seemed to have been no attempt to instil anything like a sense of criticality.
(1)Before anyone says, "What are you doing about it?" - which would be a fair point considering my training - the answer is not as much as I used to but I was for quite a time heavily involved in the training of lay ministers in the local C of E diocese...
As I said a minister with no clue.....
The minister at my auntie's recent baptism decided that would be a good time to state that Dog's have no Souls. (And would just pee on the cross,
My Gran very nearly walked out at that point, and my Cousin, my auntie's Son stifled giggles all the way through.
I think some preachers use any old oppertunity when people are watching them to spout off their own personal views.
Every denomination has its "cowboys". Some are just plain "wet behind the ears", others, make me wonder how they even managed to pass their training. I've know some great lay people who would eat some of the theologically trained for breakfast. Some of them, even I could chew up and spit out. We had one who, fresh out of college, proceeded to tell those who had been strong Christians for longer than he'd been alive that he'd been to college and we knew nothing. I didn't last long in that church.