Who says that religion and politics need to be boring? On Saturday, 7 June 2014, church history scholar, Dr John Stephenson, offered a spring retreat at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Bradford, Ontario, on the subject, “Life in the Early Church: Lessons for Today”.
The 35 people in attendance were transported back to the time period shortly after the New Testament was compiled, and heard about the practices, teachings, and struggles that the early persecuted Christians underwent, many of which are strikingly similar to those of our church today. Professor Stephenson brought to life the vibrant stories of church fathers such as St Polycarp and St Ignatius, revealing striking comparisons between the challenges of the early Christians and Canadians today. Dr Stephenson’s edifying and thought-provoking presentation crushed the idea that theological subject matter is abstract and exclusivist, and ought to be reserved for a pastor’s study.
Participants included visitors of all ages and from various local Lutheran multi-cultural churches, who conveyed an overall consensus that this activity should be repeated and expanded, as it offered lay people a taste of the high quality education and exciting courses offered at our church’s seminaries. Praise the Lord for defenders of the Faith….yesterday and today!
Story: Chaplain Harold Ristau
Photos: Rev. Min Kim