Monday, May 08, 2006

Servants of the Word

As I mentioned before, one reason that I have not been posting as much is work on a long final paper for New Wine. Well, that paper is just about done, and a couple weeks late, but there you are. The requirement was 10 pages double-spaced, and I am probably going to hit 15+ pages, single-spaced.

The topic is the transition to a post-modern culture and its effect on ministry, with a particular look at the New Evangelism. The actual paper has a sizeable chunk of discussion of my own experience in ministry and New Wine, stuff I may pull from in the future for posts. But for now, the core material on what is happening culturally worldwide and the predicament we are in is what I will be putting up, in appropriately sized pieces. The title page of the paper includes the quote that gives the paper it's name: Servants of the Word

To nourish ourselves with the word in order to be servants of the word in the work of evangelization: this is surely a priority for the Church at the dawn of the new millennium. Even in countries evangelized many centuries ago, the reality of a "Christian society" which, amid all the frailties which have always marked human life, measured itself explicitly on Gospel values, is now gone. Today we must courageously face a situation which is becoming increasingly diversified and demanding, in the context of "globalization" and of the consequent new and uncertain mingling of peoples and cultures. Over the years, I have often repeated the summons to the new evangelization. I do so again now, especially in order to insist that we must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardour of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost. We must revive in ourselves the burning conviction of Paul, who cried out: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor 9:16).

Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, chap 40
The plan? First off, to look at just what "modern" means culturally, and to examine the signs that we are moving somewhere else. In particular, review the intellectual, social, and emotional effects of this transition, concentrating on the spiritual consequences of all this. There are some specific challenges and opportunities on the way, and some indications on the directions ministry may take as a result.

Basically, these are the topics I said that interested me at the beginning of the year when I moved to this space -- so there is no surprise here. Stay tuned.

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