Saturday, June 24, 2006

Old is the New New

The Trinty Church rises boldly among the steel and stone giants that make up the Financial District at the bottom of Manhattan. In this picture, can you make out the name on the street sign in the foreground? It is New Street.

I love the image! If there is no other, the Church ought to stand as a connection between the new and the old, between the world, even the world of finance, and the Creator.

The emerging church movement, and the positive side of postmodern Christian, make much of bringing the old into the new, or maybe, taking the new to the old.

For many years I had no use for the old, for tradition. Traditions, "we've never done it that way before" thinking, epitomized for me all that was wrong with the church.

I have grown up a bit over the years, and find myself more and more embracing the old, the ancient, even, believe it or not, tradition.


At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Allen said...

I agree with you Steve but I like to distinguish between tradions and traditionalism. Traditions are those things from our past which are rich in teachings and in rituals which draw us close to God. Traditionalism is the activity of worshiping things just because its the way we've always done them. Traditions are good but traditionalism can be the death of a church or even a family. Change can be good and healthy when we know the difference.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Mark Winter said...


One of the things that intrigues me about the emerging church movement is synthesizing historically-rich traditions with fresh, new expressions of faith. This may be one case where we can have our cake and eat it, too.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Joshua M. said...

I tend to like holding on to some traditions, but I have recently witnessed situations in which I think the traditions themselves were being worshipped rather than God. Of course, this sort of idolatry is possible in the realm of other traditions, such as the tradition of contemporary worship.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came from the RC church, and it has taken quite a while to get away from traditions. As it turns out, i am turned off by so many people slepp-walking through hollow traditions that they have no connection towards, or that they only do out of comfort.
I find that communion in the UMC church, for the most part, is dead, and a waste of time. The times I have found it alive, and connectional is in the small chapel service on wednesday evenings.

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Baughman said...

it's a sad thing thast communion has become stale in many UM churches. I haver, however found it to be life giving (mainly because of the influence of several passionate ministers who found their passion in the EUcharist. I think there are signs of hope. This Holy Mystery, a document on the UMC and Eucharist that was approved by Gen Conf in 2004 is a positive step. Our sat eveing veritas... servicve celebrates communion weekly and people are drawn to the table.

I believe its soemtyhing we need to get our congregations more involved in


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