christianI feel quite blessed by a huge amount of variety in the Presbyterian Chapel Services (I don’t think it’s the norm, but it sure works for me). It’s far from boring anyway. And so here is another PC chapel report.

Today, was the Tri-College service, hosted by the Montreal Diocesan Theological College. Which is to say, that the once a season (month or term?) the theological colleges around McGill get together for a wednesday service, with each college taking turns to host the service, lunch and programme. Of course Tri college is a bit of a misnomer, because there are about five groups that get together, namely, The Presbyterian College, United Theological College (not the one in Bangalore), Montreal Diocesan Theological College, Montreal School of Theology and McGill University’s Faculty of Religious Studies.  It just happened that while Montreal Diocesan Theological College were hosts, they used the Presbyterian College premises.

Anyway… the service was… well… Anglican? I have almost no idea of what all this means; especially since within Anglicanism there is so much diversity that I’m not sure what kind of Anglicans were these. I mean, they had “bells” during the service… and no sermon. (Can’t imagine my supervisor’s Anglican church using bells!).

The service followed the reflective mode… with liturgy and silence. And because no sermon, it was quite short. (I do with these liturgical tradition churches would slow things down a little more though… they tend to go through the liturgy so fast that it’s hard to really soak in the impact of what you’re saying!).

The next programme was lunch, followed by a panel of three principal’s of the various denominational colleges talking about “ordination” in their various denominations, which was then followed by group discussion on the topic of ordination.

It was a fascinating session… with each speaker well versed in their own traditions and taking “digs” at the other traditions. For me, it was an opportunity of getting to know what others felt about important (to them) church matters. Of course I do not like this whole ordination thing (but that’s just me), but it was a good exercise to listen to the differences in traditions (mostly heavily liturgical) that seem so similar and yet are so different.

The group discussion was also a nice time to meet members of the other colleges… though because of the lack of time… there wasn’t really much time to engage deeply with each other.

I couldn’t help thinking through it all whether (and how) SAIACS could do such a thing… I could easily see SABC, maybe even TAFTEE, and some neighbouring colleges, getting together for a devotion, lunch and discussion… and it would be so cool!

And yet realistically, all college schedules are so different, and everyone is so busy, that I can’t help but feel that eventually such a cooperative exercise could soon become burdensome. I guess, because most of the colleges are so small, and because such events are ingrained in the ethos (ecumenical discussions), that it works here… and may not work back home.

What I can take from all of this, though, is that there is lot of humour/fun/and inspiration to be found in the meeting of Christians, no matter how odd/different from each other. And that moment of meeting is worth pursuing.

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