After talk, discussion, wrong speaking on my part in some cases (which is common) I think I have a grasp on what small groups mean.

I am not in favor of small groups over chapel time.  I was in a discussion which revolved around “what is chapel anyway?”  When I think of chapel I think of Matins, Morning Prayer, Office of Prayer and Preaching or the like, hymns, prayers, Scripture, and preaching perhaps.  I think of the Divine Service on Thursday with  Eucharist.   I do not think of bible study in small groups all over campus.

I will say I am in favor of Bible Study, of getting together to do Bible Study with brothers and sisters, devotional reading and the like.  I am just not in favor of breaking into small groups to do Bible Study over the designated time for chapel at the seminary and here are a few reasons why:

  1. The reason chapel time and the Eucharist were moved was for the purpose of gathering a larger collection of the community together in one place for chapel.  (Granted that these small groups are happening once a month)
  2. While seminarians might be trustworthy to discuss Biblical issues and texts we are at the Seminary for a reason, to learn how to do just that, read and teach the Scriptures rightly.  Now, if each group had a faculty advisor I might think differently.  I am not interested in who thinks what about a text, I am interested in “Thus sayeth the Lord.”  I am not getting in a pulpit on Sunday saying, this is what the text means to me, this is what I THINK it is saying, I am getting in the Pulpit and “Thus Sayeth the LORD.”

Those are the two biggest reasons why I am a little hesitant to be excited about small groups as chapel.  I do also have a radical different opinion about what might be nicer and more beneficial for the community.

  1. Make all morning classes sixty minutes.  There would be classes from 8-9, 9-10, and then at 10 sound the chapel bells.  There would then be a mandatory class  in the chapel called, “Reading the Scripture and the Confessions.”  It would be led by faculty members 4 days a week, perhaps only 2.  There would be discussion, time for argument  with everyone present and faculty to help.  Perhaps the faculty could  hammer out some of their differences too and teach us students how theological discourse happens outside the Blogoshpere.  Then we would roll right into chapel: prayer, preaching, singing chapel.  Lunch, then afternoon classes.

I like the sound of that.