Sunday, March 04, 2007

reporting from Montreal

I am in Montreal for the annual conference of the Canadian Theological Students' Association and I LOVE Montreal. It is a beautiful city and a wonderful place to be in for a conference. The theme of the conference is "Stewards of Creation: Theology and Sustainability" which is an excellent theme for today's context.

Tonight we heard a keynote address from Dr. Jenny Plane Te Paa, and she addressed the issue of Indigenous persons in relation to issues of sustainability. She focused on the need for sustainable relationships in order to begin the work of sustainable living. I agree wholeheartedly. If we don't have relationships and communities that can support us then it is difficult to make the sacrifices and hard choices that are needed to live more responsibly in the face of environmental crises.

This is a fascinating context in which to address these issues since it is an ecumenical environment. I'm finding myself contemplating denominationalism and its outcroppings. Are we more post-denominational than ecumenical these days? How much do denominations define us? Why are they and aren't they important? When we can unite in wise practices of living, does it matter what we believe or how we believe what we believe?

What do you think?



  • The difference between "post-denominational" and "ecumenical" is an interesting question. Certainly, I think, for younger people (30's and under), denominations don't hold the same force of loyalty that they do for older generations. For those of us younger folks interested in doing social justice, particular denominations might be a way to engage in certain group activities, but when our interests change (or the denomination's interests change), we'll switch to another - the way we treat any organization.

    And we younger folks are sensitive to the limitations of institutions and hierarchies - and avoid them like the plague. It seems to me that one reason these "non-denominational" churches are growing nowadays is because they are claiming to be free from such historical or denominational ties. (Of course, any look at them will find they are bound just as much to a tradition, they just don't admit it.) Still, the appeal is obvious: be free to worship genuinely, not bound by rule or rigor.

    Our congregations could learn a thing or two from that kind of idea.

    By Blogger Christian, at 10:10 AM  

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