Sunday, February 29, 2004
For the last three weeks, I've been going to the inquirers/confirmation class at Grace, taught by Father Riley on Sunday afternoons. Class is cancelled this week since Father Riley is out of town, presumably serving the Kansas Guard, so I thought I'd finally say a word or two about it here.
The first week, which I missed, was on polity. The next week: foundations of church history through the early Middle Ages. This was followed by more church history, this time covering the Reformation and the formation of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the US. Last week was on the development of the liturgy, from characteristics of the early church, East & West, to the various editions of the prayer book.
I've been most impressed with the class and with Father Riley's instruction. I've also come to see the benefits of having such classes for newcomers before they become voting members: people are informed and kept from joining too hastily and later regretting it or, worse, causing the church to regret receiving them. In the meantime, they can be baptized members with all the privileges of the church's ministry, except they can't vote, hold office, etc.
On the other hand, I don't see the importance of receiving a sort of second blessing from a bishop in apostolic succession, but I don't think this tradition is wrong either; it just needs to be exercised with great care, lest the church be divided into two more classes.
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