In Youth We Learn; In Age We Understand

It’s a time of scheduling upheaval: all my students are disappearing and being replaced by new ones (or by students I haven’t seen since last school year); my kids are scuttling around the house, fighting over the “good” binders and the extra pack of paper, my Chinese students have all been re-arranged into more appropriate classes.

The re-arranged Chinese classes is a good thing.  I no longer have any silent classes, as I put the wallflowers with people who would make them talk rather than with people who were their own age.  I’ve got this absolutely incredible class which is essentially fluent, so I’ve banned the bi-lingual dictionary and am forcing them to converse for about 20 minutes each day.  So far, it’s great.  There are two boys with well-cultivated egos in that class, and they’re forcing the others to use the best vocabulary possible just to cut those two down to size.  The girls, I’ve found, have been particularly forthcoming with their new vocabulary.

I love teaching girls.

With the switch in evening students, I have most of my evenings free for a couple of weeks.  I’m doing mostly “organisational writing things”: fine-tunings, magazine layouts, etc.  The T.Dot Reading Showcase is coming along as expected (that is, nothing has gone wrong yet, but it’s still two months away).  My best friend and I were procrastinating work yesterday, and have come up with a sequel for Cletus and the Hot Weasel, which I think might fall into my lap; I’m looking forward to my Redneck Muse kicking in this weekend.  (My friend has promised, by the way, that she will polish Cletus and allow me to publish it on this blog.  It truly is a work of art that should not be hidden away.)

With all the extra free time, I confess to staying logged in to Facebook for hours on end, hoping for human contact.  One of the young guys who used to attend Trinity Church with me was also on the chat thingy; he’s giving me some of his books to use with my students, and is borrowing some history books of mine.  He was also trying to convince me to attend St. Peter’s Erindale one Sunday, as that’s where he now goes.  I was somewhat tempted, but yesterday I reached a conclusion which may bring an end to my Anglicanism.

The Anglican arrived in my mailbox yesterday; I assume it’s my last copy, as I asked Trinity Church to remove me from the mailing list.  In the “Bishop’s Opinion”, Bishop Patrick Yu wrote a column entitled “Hospitality Requires Boundaries” (you can download the .pdf from The Anglican’s website and read it yourself).  In this column, Yu gives two examples of hospitality – one where the hostess explained all the rules and regulations to Yu (thus making him comfortable in the understanding that he wasn’t unintentionally stepping on any toes) and one where the host said, “Make yourself at home” (which left Yu floundering and tentative in every movement).

Now, me an’ Bishop Yu don’t see eye-to-eye on much (he’s one of the vociferous anti-same-sex-blessing dudes), so I confess to bristling every time I see his name.  The last two paragraphs of the article, though, would make me bristle anyway.  He says: Visitors and guests will feel welcome if there are clear instructions about all aspects of the church in written or oral form.  Even better, encourage and challenge members to notice and help visitors.  They will want to respect our practice and boundaries if we take the time to make them clear.  The most common way in this diocese is to issue an invitation: “All baptized persons are invited to receive communion.  If you do not receive communion, you are invited to come forward to receive a blessing.  Fold your arms….” Occasionally there are unreasonable guests or those who act out of ignorance.  There is disruptive behaviour from children of all ages and people demanding a sacrament for… well, to do with it other than intended.  Do not feel guilty to politely say no.

He. Must. Jest.

Really?  That’s how he’s going to extend hospitality in the Anglican Church?  Oh, yes, now I remember: Jesus sat on the ground at the last supper and checked everyone’s Anglican Baptismal record before he gave them a piece of bread and a sip of wine.  Mea culpa.  That part of the Bible has entirely slipped my mind.

Yeah, I think I want to leave the Anglican Church entirely.  Not that I expect everyone to agree with me (although, they’re guaranteed safe passage to heaven if they do, I’m sure), but I feel like I’m fighting against the majority of Anglicans.  To me, organised religion should be there to help the people who feel they can’t do it on their own; to me, this means offering a blessing to people who want their marriage blessed, offering communion to anyone who wants to share a meal with the community and God.

I suppose I owe Bishop Yu my thanks, as he’s straightened one thing out for me in a time when a lot of things are changing…

…nope, I’m not that good a Christian.

One response to “In Youth We Learn; In Age We Understand

  1. Pingback: Right Poysond/ Persecuting & Terrible Priests « The English Major’s Blog

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