Wednesday, 10th January, 2018
We're back to Wednesday morning reflections in the Chapel. It was me today in the chair and I chose to reflect on a chap called Pope Miltiades who was the 32nd pope and he served from 311 to 314! In those three years, he had quite an impact! He was very respected by the Roman Emperor at the time, Constantine, and it was in Miltiades' papacy that the Emperor declared that it was no longer illegal to be Christian in the Roman Empire! This was a huge decision and meant that, in theory, Christians would no longer be persecuted for their beliefs.
Constantine also gave Miltiades a palace which became the papal residence for nearly one thousand years. The Church built next to the palace (St John Lateran) remains the Cathedral of Rome and the cathedra (or bishop's chair) is the Pope's chair since he is the Bishop of Rome!
Miltiades also presided over a council to deal with a group called the Donatists who believed that priests and bishops needed to be re-baptised before they took up office. They also believed that is a priest sinned in any way, all that he did was considered void. Mr Willis referred to this group who wanted baptism as the Dunkin' Donatists - which is a startlingly good pun!
The argument with the Donatists was basically an issue of whether the Church was for saints or sinners. I've come down firmly on the Church being for sinners based on Jesus unbelievable capacity for forgiveness. We then thought about how we sometimes find it hard to forgive ourselves. We don't tend to let some things go - as we regret what we've said, done or maybe not done. That can bring us great worry, guilt and shame so we took the opportunity to pass round the rubber which featured in yesterday's blog and reflect on whether we should just erase those regrets so we can move on!
Sacred Time was spent with Megan and Amy who led a brilliant act of worship based around a rather splendid bit of scientific apparatus which lights up when a circuit is completed around it! In the end, the whole of 7 Dorothy managed to light it up by joining hands - a super demonstration of teamwork.
A little later, I popped into 7 Dorothy again as they had an introduction to samba drumming given by the oh so talented Mr Quinn! It was great to see their enthusiasm and attentiveness - a really marvellous team of learners!