- Jonah 1:1-3
- Proverbs 1:1-9
Early Thoughts: We value education. We in the United Church (speaking of the collective if not for all individuals) value education. One of our Methodist forebears, Edgerton Ryerson, was instrumental in creating the public education system in Ontario, which was a great gift to the development of Canadian society. At the same time our commitment to the value of education and our understanding of the purpose and content of education led us to take part in the Residential School system which, as we know, was a deeply flawed and damaging thing.
But still we value education. It is an expectation that the people we call into Ministry will take part in a specific educational program as part of the preparation for ministry and that they will continue to learn throughout their life in ministry. It is an expectation that our Communities of Faith will offer some forms of Christian Education, preferably to adults youth and children. Because we place a value on the process of life-long learning as a practise of faith we offer opportunities to make it happen.
Every year St. Andrew's College, the United Church seminary in the Prairie provinces, asks us to take one Sunday and talk about theological education. In part this is a piece of their fundraising program. But more importantly it is a time to talk about why we find education important, why the United Church --like most other denominations, particularly those from the Reformed tradition-- values an educatied ministry.
This Sunday we will explore the value of education in the church.