Archive for May, 2009

Reports are circulating that Pope Benedict XVI, currently in the Middle East to promote peace, has promised to cease all Roman Catholic missions activities among the Jewish people. If not merely a misunderstanding of his efforts to promote peace and understanding between Christians and Jews (which it may well be), it is a promise which certainly should give one pause. If, as Jesus says, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me,” then, shouldn’t missions to non-Christians remain of the utmost importance? If this is intended as an effort to improve inter-religious dialogue, it goes too far. If we are to truly converse with others, we must never lose our own voice. We are Christians and so we must remain ‘apologetically’ (strongly defending our position) and ‘unapologetically’ (without feeling shame for it). It may be politically incorrect, but it’s biblically right.

Last weekend I was visiting family in Saskatoon and so I ended up attending service at a church out there. It just so happens that it was Confirmation Sunday that day. Based on the recent discussions of confirmation at my blog here and at LCC Director of Communications Ian Adnam’s Think Digital First blog here (and following posts there), I was paying particular attention to the way in which the rite was performed.

One of the things that caught my attention was the use of video testimony in the service. The pastor had previously had each of the confirmants record a video message touching on a number of topics: what their faith and confirmation meant to them, what it means to be a Christian in today’s world, words of wisdom for next year’s confirmants, and so forth. This personal video testimony in some way supplemented the public testimony which the confirmants would give later during the rite of confirmation. I was thrilled with the idea for one primary reason: it made the confirmants wrestle with their own individual faith as they planned their video testimonies. They struggled to find their own individual words for a shared corporate faith they would be confessing that day.

The idea could easily be picked up by other churches (a digital video camera isn’t really that expensive any more, and simple (and cheap) enough editing software is relatively easy to attain. For churches that would rather avoid the whole digital video/projection system route, they could always ask confirmants to give a personal testimony before the church during the actual service itself (rather than pre-recording it). It would still have the usefulness of having confirmants wrestle personally with their faith. The video method has the benefit of allowing the confirmants the ability to avoid public speaking (if they have that fear), and also the ability to re-record themselves if they don’t say things quite the way they intended to.

Thoughts to ponder…