Thursday, July 12, 2012

Toronto, Chapter 3

So yesterday was really a good exercise in the tradition of story telling. After hearing everyone's story our group of people is beginning to see each other in a different light; we are no longer just fellow conference attendees, but we are beginning to see each other as fellow human beings. We realize how allowing the story of all peoples to be heard is a central part of being a humanist. To speak of this spiritually, to listen with the heart to the story of a person or a people allows us to better see everyone as children of God.

Today we began to talk briefly about the history of the idea of mission. We heard from three speakers today who gave us very different perspectives on how "mission" has affected their life.

Rev. Dr. Girma Bekeele, originally from Ethiopia, told us of how he became a Christian through an underground high school Christian fellowship in 1982 during the rule of Ethiopian communism. He shared with us how he has seen that we all have a message to give to each other. There is no proper way for the message to be carried. That is up to the people who hold it. It is up to us to be open and listening.

Rev. Chun Zhang, a humble preacher from China, shared with us his story of immigration to Canada and his conversion to Christianity. He shared with us his view of how "mission" begins within each of us.

Dr. Christina Hee-Yeon Han, a fourth generation Christian, emigrated from Korea as a child. She shared with us the history of how Christianity became an important piece of Korean culture: through a liberating partnership, rather than oppressive conversion.

We will ponder all of these stories as our week continues and we continue to talk about what mission means to us.

Thanks again to everyone who made this incredible learning experience possible for us!

Doug and Jenny

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