By Rev. Canon Val Kenyon
Is anyone, anywhere not talking about life post-pandemic?
So much of what I am reading lately is, not unlike the phenomenon of Covid itself, trying to grasp something that in many ways is still taking shape. I think it would be fair to say that long-range planning of any kind is especially challenging as we know that a post-pandemic world will be different, but we are not exactly sure of the details of that difference. That is to say, we are trying to plan for a time, in which the context still remains unclear. And if there is anything we have seen displayed in a very vivid manner before us over the past year or so, it is that context matters.
To be fair, this is not exactly news. For example, we knew that the quality of ground out of which something is birthed, the characteristics of the environment in which something or more importantly someone is striving to exists matters. For our context, our environment, the situation in and out of which we operate have a definite impact on what is born, produced, or even possible. While a prayer of the faithful on a sunny day is a beautiful expression of their faith, that same prayer uttered in the midst of a storm, takes on a whole different meaning, inviting us into unfamiliar new worlds. Covid has reminded us of this, and I think we are slowly getting more adept at understanding or at least becoming aware of the water in which we swim.
Central to the approaches within Education for Ministry is an understanding of context, in particular the context out of which each of the book of Scripture were written. Were they born in times of celebration, of opulence, of battle, of exile, of occupation or of wandering? Were they written over time or all at once, and if written over time, just how many years does the story they are telling span? Were they written in the time they are describing or later, perhaps benefiting from the gift of hindsight? What do we know about the writer and about her or his impact or perspectives on what was written? Did peculiarities of language, customs and writing styles long since passed, influence the writing in any way? Was there a particular situation, crisis, or need to which the writer was responding?
At the core of an EfM group lies a commitment to and real engagement with the context out of which both our sacred readings and many centuries of traditions in the Church have taken shape.
If you are interested in learning more about all that EfM has to offer, we will be hosting an Open House on Tuesday, June 8th at 7pm by Zoom If you, or anyone you know, would like to attend, or have any other questions about EfM, please be in touch with Libi Clifford, the Diocese of Huron EfM Coordinator or myself Val Kenyon at EFM@huron.anglican.ca
Rev. Dr. Canon Val Kenyon is EFM Animator in Huron.
(Illustration: Steve Johnson/Unsplash)