the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Monday, July 24, 2006

Living with Lutherans

The orientation I am at is an ecumenical training - it includes many denominations - but in reality, nearly everyone here is Lutheran. Schematically I've found traditional Lutheran services to be very similar to Episcopal Services, and yet they also seem to have some contemporary problems that I am more familiar with from the church I grew up at.

The thing I love about Lutherans is that they are a people, young and old, who are bound by a common litergy and faith. And they're fairly open-minded. But the one thing I hate about Lutherans is that they assume we know their tradition because they are the majority. And that's not so bad, I'd just like to be informed about the differences - and they probably aren't even aware.

There are only four volunteers from the RCA here, and similar numbers for the other denominations. Yet there are about thirty-five Lutheran volunteers here. Our churches are all similar. I wonder why the Lutheran church is more popular.

I have found the people at this conference (ranging in age from 20's to 60's) to be largely inviting, encouraging and accepting. We are all in relatively the same boat; we are going out to do service in an unfamiliar country. And doubtlessly, this has formed hard and fast bonds. I feel I have more incommon with people here than I did even in Sioux Falls. This is a luxury to have. It will be a different sort of thing to form relationships with people in Japan - I will have less incommon with them. And yet, everyone needs to tell their story, and a foreigner is a great excuse to tell your story.

One of my Canadian friends here said, "You use so many Americanisms here, and you don't even know it." After this experience of ever so slight exclusion, I'll try even harder to keep my Americanisms (and my Christianisms) in check.


Blogger ariel said...

This is just a theory: But, Catholicism was the first form of Christianity, right? And most Christians today seem to be Catholics, maybe since it was there first? It's the majority because people didn't convert? Then, you could say Lutheranism was the first big sect. So, you were either a Catholic or a Lutheran. And so many of our sects today came off of that or off of... I guess, Calvinism. Or something. Just ideas.

7/24/2006 11:06 PM  

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