First of all I slept on what I guess would be the third floor -- from the second floor we went up these narrow, small steps to a room with two beds built into the wall. I think they were built for the Bakke's grandchildren. I had a good night's sleep. I got up by 7:00 a.m. for coffee, oatmeal and an egg casserole. Visited with a few people and then we began class at 8:00.
Corean Bakke (a trained classical pianist and music master) led us from the baby grand piano in a couple of hymns that she composed and wrote. The house was built with acoustics for Corean's piano and it is beautiful...
Ray began the first lecture with the question, "what is history?" Answer, the written record of the past. He then asked, "who wrote history?" someone in class answered, "the winners". He then asked, “why the title of the course was Global Christian History, the answer because most of what we have been handed has come through a very Western lens. We are living in a time where the marginalized peoples that did not have the scholarship to write history are challenging the perspectives. Example, American Indians and Latin American natives. After an overview and stories of this then the we moved on to why we should study history. So we began the day by getting perspective on history and how it has been recorded.
Next we reviewed
Ray made the comment at the end of this session that Evangelicals think church history began with Luther – they take the attitude anything that came before was Roman Catholic and Orthodox and we don’t need it. Basically a very arrogant view.
We broke for lunch then walked the Mission Trail. Ray has staked out a trail on his property and has a stake in the ground that represents one person from each century of the 2000 years of church history.
We began this trail at the Trinity Tree. A cedar tree with one strong trunk that quickly separates into 3 parallel trunks with their own branches. I will write some of Ray’s thoughts on the doctrine of the trinity.
“Trinity is more than the Christian name of God as Father, Son and Spirit. Our earthly families of mothers, fathers and children mirror the “heavenly family”, and deeply root my idea of the significance of relationships and community. From this biblical idea, I understand that the primary life of God is in working relations that flow into the mission of creation, redemption and reconciliation of all things. Moreover, for me to be a functional Trinitarian Christian means I live simultaneously in three time zones...Because of the Trinity, I see all working roles as equally sacred. While early images and vocabularies limit us, I do see no hierarchy in the members of the divine Trinity, and therefore I understand the Father, Son and Spirit to be equal in what they as God have done in creation, or will do in our salvation. My doctrine of vocational calling anchors here also. I believe that for each of us, be we male, female, clergy or laity, our calling as individuals is equal. And, like the members of the divine Trinity, I believe each of us will also mutually submit one to another as Christians and family members.”
Ray designed the mission trail together with a chapel and grotto to remind him of that “great cloud of witnesses” who have crossed all boundaries of this world, to pass on the good news of the Gospel…We are provided a brief biography of each person representing their particular century. We stopped at each stake in the ground and Ray explained why he chose each person to represent their century. The mission trail took about three hours.
We came back to the house and Corean gave us a talk on the Liturgical colors of the church year (we have just been talking about wanting to change out the colors at VCC to fit with the liturgical season) and with each season she has a desription:
Advent – blue, pink and purple – season of expectation
Christmas – red – season of hope
Epiphany – orange – season of manifestation or time of regognition
Lent – black – season of testing or struggle
Easter – white – Alleluia
Pentecost – red – Holy Spirit
From May to Advent is called Ordinary Time – Corean doesn’t like that description but divides it up into
A sage green – new growth
A mature green – season of empowerment
We finished with a Christmas hymn that Corean composed and then broke for dinner.
Tonight’s movie is – The Kingdom of Heaven – about the crusades. Tomorrow night – Luther. Today was a beautiful day. The clouds have set in and it’s beginning to rain. Our reflection is to think of our own spiritual autobiography…where are our roots back generations in faith and to reflect on the people of the early church period and pick five people we feel connected to and why…