Haibane-Renmei Curriculum

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Postby SP1 » Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:28 pm

OK, here is the guide up through Episode 8 (which is basically a continuation of themes from #7). I could use additional scripture references for these two episodes if anyone has any ideas.

:angel:

The guide has been updated, please see a more recent post.
"Those who believe will be saved...so they say. Get it?"
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Postby Kisa » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:26 am

I just saw this now! This is so cool! This should be done for as many series as possible! Kudos to who came up with this ^^
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Postby SP1 » Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:35 pm

That would be me. Sangkyu! ;)

Only 5 more episodes to go. :angel:
"Those who believe will be saved...so they say. Get it?"
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Postby Kisa » Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:02 am

*claps hands* youre awesome for doing this, its so cool ^^
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Postby SP1 » Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:16 am

Kisa wrote:This should be done for as many series as possible!


I am not sure how many other anime are ripe for this type of treatment.

Fan service is a bit of a hard sell to a Sunday School class. :sweat:
"Those who believe will be saved...so they say. Get it?"
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Sorry ladies, already married to HitomiYuriko , but it took both our efforts to come up with daughter Althaia

Please use the Haibane Renmei Lesson Plan

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Postby ClosetOtaku » Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:20 pm

Episodes 6-8 are the cornerstone of the series, excelled only by the events in Ep 13. Without these episodes, HR is indeed a somewhat silly slice-of-life story about cute angels. With them, it becomes a powerful statement...

Episode 6: I checked both the Japanese and English versions... Rakka says "That's not..." and never quite finishes the statement; in Japanese, she doesn't say "Uso da" ("not true") or something similar, rather saying "so de wa", meaning "That's not" -- but what it isn't, we're not sure. "That's not possible"... "That's not what Washi thinks"... maybe any of those...

It's always struck me that Kuu's departure is very much like the death of a friend, and ABe says as much in interviews about the series. We get an additional glimpse in Episode 7 when we learn that the other Haibane are congratulating Kuu... but what we don't know is Rakka's reaction is extremely close to Reki's... this is very important.

Recently, I lost my father, and the reactions ran the gamut, "I'm sorry for your loss", "He's in a better place", "It was his time to go", etc. We see the gamut here, too. Even inside the Church, it seems there is always someone with a pat answer as to why this happened at this particular time. I don't like pat answers.

I'm surprised you didn't compare Kana's reaction to Thomas' reaction to the news of the arisen Christ (or any other number of biblical miracles that depended on faith rather than sight). This gets back to the previous comment on why the Haibane are not very well acquainted with the Day of Flight, yet are expected to aspire to it. There is a lot of material here -- the Haibane appear to "hand down" the Day of Flight legend, Washi and the Temple folks don't seem to speak to it -- Christianity is different because our source of "inside information" is the Bible -- but let us also remember that the Early Church didn't have a Bible....

Episode 7: In the "for what it is worth" column, the title of this chapter begins with "Scar". You will notice that the first image seen after the chapter title is Rakka's arm with... a possible scar on the wrist. Foreshadowing for some, just a coincidence for others. Your mileage may vary.

I think you should save Questions 3 and 6 for Episode 10. They are a bit of a spoiler.

On Question 2, you cite John 14:15-17. Is that right? I didn't see a connection. I'm curious as to your answer, too -- we know later that Rakka's condition is not a mistake, but is a result of her refusal to accept her place as a Haibane (this is not immediately obvious, but only after a lot of debate at SnH did we agree on this conclusion). This is important in the Circle of Sin riddle.

I like your theme of abandonment -- we abandon people inside the Church as well as outside -- there is a lot you could do with this chapter, but time constraints probably won't permit it.

Episode 8: Rakka begins to adopt the same thinking that caused her death in her previous world. I know we don't want to talk too much about this, as the purgatory theme may not sit well in all churches, but it is clear this is why Rakka is on her downward spiral. The Wall "punishes" (or corrects, if you like) those Haibane (both Rakka and Reki, as we now know) who haven't "learned from their mistakes". Gee, that sounds familiar...

I'm surprised there's no paralleling of the Bird with the Holy Spirit (or divine inspiration). It is clear the Bird is leading her to the Well. The Bird leads Rakka to her rebirth (in the next chapter), and the symbologies numerous and obvious.

You do a good job pointing out Rakka's very futile view of her existence. Rakka almost becomes George Bailey of It's a Wonderful Life here. (Maybe you could show that movie as counterpoint...just kidding, but you get the picture.)

However, it may be a good idea to also discuss the flip side of this: God loves His people, but He also is constantly warning them that man has "but a breath in his nostrils", to number our days aright, that we are but dust. There is something key to awakening a sense of our own mortality. We should not take the dim view of futility, but the positive view that this is all part of a Plan (which, of course, is another theme of HR).

Whew! OK, sorry to fall behind on the comments, I hope they are meaningful. Thanks again for your hard work on this.
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Postby Kisa » Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:01 am

SP1 wrote:I am not sure how many other anime are ripe for this type of treatment.

Fan service is a bit of a hard sell to a Sunday School class. :sweat:


Well not EVERY series, but some can be used in this way ^^''
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Postby SP1 » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:16 pm

The minister of my church just asked me to be on the newly forming education committee. I said yes, of course. In my new position of power, I will make all members watch Haibane Renmei! Mwahaha!

Seriously, I sent a letter off today to Geneon about the lesson plan. I wanted to get their legal opinion on any disclaimers I had to add to the plan to satisfy them. Also, I wanted to get a position on showing the series in a semi-public forum. Although it sounds silly, we're just letting people watch a DVD we bought or rented and talking about it, you can get into serious hot water like this. People actually cruise churches looking for things like copyright violations, especially for music performances. Our choir made a CD of our Christmas pageant one year and it cost us over $1 per CD for payment of royalties to the various publishing houses involved. Obviously, charging to view the series would be a problem. Some lawyers might interpret, or attempt to interpret, offerings and donations given during a Sunday School class as payment in kind for viewing of the series. Hopefully, Geneon has some generic statement I can put into the lesson plan to keep people out of hot water.

:angel:
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Sorry ladies, already married to HitomiYuriko , but it took both our efforts to come up with daughter Althaia

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Postby SP1 » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:47 pm

ClosetOtaku wrote:Episode 6: I checked both the Japanese and English versions... Rakka says "That's not..." and never quite finishes the statement]"Uso da"[/i] ("not true") or something similar, rather saying "so de wa", meaning "That's not" -- but what it isn't, we're not sure. "That's not possible"... "That's not what Washi thinks"... maybe any of those...


OK, I'll fix that.

ClosetOtaku wrote:It's always struck me that Kuu's departure is very much like the death of a friend, and ABe says as much in interviews about the series. We get an additional glimpse in Episode 7 when we learn that the other Haibane are congratulating Kuu... but what we don't know is Rakka's reaction is extremely close to Reki's... this is very important.

Recently, I lost my father, and the reactions ran the gamut, "I'm sorry for your loss", "He's in a better place", "It was his time to go", etc. We see the gamut here, too. Even inside the Church, it seems there is always someone with a pat answer as to why this happened at this particular time. I don't like pat answers.


I agree. I don't point out a lot of these things because I want the class to develop them. Hopefully, when people see these varying reactions, it will start a dialog.

ClosetOtaku wrote:I'm surprised you didn't compare Kana's reaction to Thomas' reaction to the news of the arisen Christ (or any other number of biblical miracles that depended on faith rather than sight).


I thought long and hard on this. I am very hesitant to compare, even indirectly, the Haibane day of flight to Christ's assention, and bringing up Thomas would make that connection. Some people would be very offended by this, because it gets into a lot of Christ as man vs. Son of God/Perfection thing. I'll take suggestions about taking things on faith, if you have them.

ClosetOtaku wrote:This gets back to the previous comment on why the Haibane are not very well acquainted with the Day of Flight, yet are expected to aspire to it. There is a lot of material here -- the Haibane appear to "hand down" the Day of Flight legend, Washi and the Temple folks don't seem to speak to it -- Christianity is different because our source of "inside information" is the Bible -- but let us also remember that the Early Church didn't have a Bible....


I discussed how we are better off with the guides God has given us, whereas the Haibane have to figure it out back in EP 4 (Question 3). Save this for later, when we go back over all 13 episodes and look for areas to strengthen or concepts to repeat.

ClosetOtaku wrote:Episode 7: In the "for what it is worth" column, the title of this chapter begins with "Scar". You will notice that the first image seen after the chapter title is Rakka's arm with... a possible scar on the wrist. Foreshadowing for some, just a coincidence for others. Your mileage may vary.


Not a coincidence. In light of Rakka's comments in the well and to the communicator in EPs 8 & 9, I think we all know what happened to Rakka. Now, how to point this out without creating a huge spoiler...?

Ahh! Too much at once, and I've discovered I can't edit the thing from my laptop! I'll get back with you when I can live in front of the PC for a day. Almost done with EP 9. That's a big one. Thank you for your excellent comments.
:angel:
"Those who believe will be saved...so they say. Get it?"
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Sorry ladies, already married to HitomiYuriko , but it took both our efforts to come up with daughter Althaia

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Postby SP1 » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:19 pm

OK, thanks to ClosetOtaku for coming out of the closet and keeping me straight. Wait, that sounded kind of weird.

Anyway, major changes to Episodes 6 through 8. Plus the long awaited Episode 9.

Whew!

:angel:

The attachment has been removed, since it has been updated. Please see a more recent post.
"Those who believe will be saved...so they say. Get it?"
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Postby Kisa » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:30 am

yay! thanks for all the great work ^^
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Postby ClosetOtaku » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:54 pm

I'm humbled by your inclusion of some of my comments... I hope I can continue to contribute meaningful things, so here goes...

Episode 9: Theologically speaking, the most revealing episode. We get a good look inside many of the themes of HR: sin, forgiveness, the absoluteness of the Wall, the plight of the Haibane...

We start the episode with... a change in the wind. (Wind is associated with the Holy Spirit.) The other Haibane are searching for Rakka, who is at the bottom of the Well having an epiphany. Rakka realizes the bird was someone she once knew in her previous life, and had brought her the message that she had not been alone.

A lone Touga arrives, leaves, and returns with a companion. He (she?) proceeds to the bottom of the Well, and begins to hand sign. (FWIW: The hand signs, as explained in one of the hashukos accompanying the DVDs, spell out "Doushita", meaning "What's wrong?") Rakka cannot understand, and so the Touga offers his back for her to climb out on...

Now, between this and the touching of the Wall, Rakka has broken almost every rule in the Guri book. She's talked with the Toga, she's touched the Toga, she's touched the Wall. As we see later in the episode, the Wall is not very happy about this.

But it is Rakka's run-in with the omnipresent Washi that triggers the Conversation. I am reminded somewhat of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:31, "How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?"

Washi talks of the Circle of Sin. When I first heard this, I immediately thought of John 9 -- the man born blind. Jesus heals him, then makes a point to the Pharisees: "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains". In my book, that is not very far from "He who knows his sin has no sin" -- not to say you are sinless, for one with sin cannot be sinless, but knowing that you have sinned (and presumably knowing that this is a bad condition to be in) is the first step in being forgiven.

And, of course, we know who Washi is really talking about -- not Rakka, although Rakka needs the explanation, but Reki, who is still trapped in her own Circle of Sin. Rakka will need to solve the riddle, but -- note this -- she is already forgiven (the spots on her wings have vanished while she is still in the Well).

Note Reki's enthusiasm on finding Rakka. The Parable of the Prodigal Son, perhaps?

Now we have the "forgiven" Rakka about to be punished by the Wall. What's that? Wasn't she forgiven? Indeed, so are we all, but God is a just God, and disciplines those He loves. Rakka suffers through a night of Wall fever, with Reki worrying about her, and Hikari worrying about Reki...

Note how Nemu helps out Reki by taking Hikari with her. Hikari just wants to help -- you know the type -- but causes more problems by doing so. Remember Episode 7 and the Wing Covers? Hikari was just trying to help, but just brings more attention to Rakka's sin-bound condition -- then suggests bringing Kuu's bed to Rakka's room -- Kuu's bed, part of the Kuu memorial that Rakka has so carefully guarded -- this is Hikari, well-meaning and as insensitive as a stone. Sometimes, even in the Church, we have to recognize that people can cause problems -- but Nemu doesn't chide Hikari, she just puts her to work doing something else. Tact is a spiritual gift, I am sure.

But ultimately, the focus of tonight goes to Reki. Reki, who had been Rakka's companion, who understood her suffering more than any other Haibane, who had walked down that same road... now Rakka has been forgiven, has "gone ahead" of Reki, and Reki is once more left alone. You get the sense that Reki likes her aloneness in a way. There are those type of people in the Church, too. "Don't let anyone look down on your because you are young," says Paul to Timothy (1 Tim 4:12); some people would be threatened by a younger person who is more mature in their faith, and Reki is one of them.

Such a study in contrasts! Forgiven Rakka suffers punishment for her actions, while sinful Reki obsesses over her. Then Reki realizes Rakka has been forgiven, and begins to withdraw back into the Circle of Sin. Rakka, meanwhiles, is sorry for her actions in her previous life, and in wanting to repent breaks out of the Circle and is no longer sin-bound. Yet Rakka might not live through the night if Reki does not intervene...

All of this goes back to the absoluteness of the Wall. Like God, the Wall is unchanging, and its statutes inviolable. Rakka must be punished -- but the bird offers her forgiveness, and Reki is there to see her through. It is just like us -- Jesus offers us forgiveness, and the Church is there to help us in our time of need. "Jevohah jireh" -- God will provide, like he provided the ram for Abraham as a substitute for Isaac.

OK, like I said, a lot of theology to mine here. You touch on many points in your questions, I thought I'd flesh out some of the thought and throw my own insights into the mix. Let me know what you think.

And I really, really can't wait to see what you have for Episode 10. Sympathy for Reki abounds!
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Postby SP1 » Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:34 am

OK, thanks! It will take a while to filter all this, and I want to get through at least one more episode so I don't spoiler it to death in EP 9. I like your Bible references, although I'm not so sure Reki's receipt of Rakka is like the prodigal son. I tend to think that Reki views Rakka as her last chance to "get it right." So when Rakka gets lost, Reki might be worried that it will reflect badly on her. Also, Rakka is sort of a comrade-in-sin to Reki, and Reki has abandonment issues.

Something about the wall:

[SPOILER]I found myself thinking of the wall as a technological marvel (not for this lesson plan, just in general). We know at the new year festival that it reflects the thoughts of the town (towards the Haibane) collected during the year up to God. So, thinking of the wall as a spiritual energy storage device, it is no wonder you are not supposed to touch it. At a safe distance, it just collects you stray thoughts. At close range, it literally sucks the life out of you. This may be why the communicator (perhaps all the Toga, judging by the multiple sets of protective gear) and Rakka have to wear complete covering heavy suits to collect the halo flakes.[/SPOILER]
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Postby ClosetOtaku » Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:10 am

SP1 wrote:OK, thanks! It will take a while to filter all this, and I want to get through at least one more episode so I don't spoiler it to death in EP 9. I like your Bible references, although I'm not so sure Reki's receipt of Rakka is like the prodigal son. I tend to think that Reki views Rakka as her last chance to "get it right." So when Rakka gets lost, Reki might be worried that it will reflect badly on her. Also, Rakka is sort of a comrade-in-sin to Reki, and Reki has abandonment issues.


Re: Prodigal Son -- I suppose I meant in terms of Reki's enthusiasm more than a biblical analogy... I agree with your assessment of Reki -- I think Reki wants to be to Rakka as Kuramori was to Reki -- maybe as fulfillment of Reki's misguided Haibane "mission"....

As for your spoiler -- absolutely brilliant. Yes, I agree, marvel (technology or otherwise), and the mechanism is spot on. I hadn't thought about it that way, but that just makes so much sense...

Thanks again, will watch carefully for Chapter 10!
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Postby SP1 » Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:23 am

Yes, leave it to an engineer to say:

"Yeah, I know about all about that Haibane spiritual stuff and sin and all. But seriously, check out that wall. How does that thing WORK?"
:sweat:
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Postby SP1 » Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:32 pm

I appologize for not posting more episodes lately. It's Christmas time and I have kids. (Bogus excuse, I see some packages under the tree that look just like anime DVD cases! I am also expecting a PS2 game or two.)

With any luck, I will finish in January sometime, and we can go back over the whole thing and fill in holes.

Whole / hole? If something has a hole in it, why itn't it whole? The English language is whacked.
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Postby ClosetOtaku » Sun Dec 25, 2005 6:23 am

Merry Christmas! Looking forward to your future installments but, for the moment, enjoy the kids! And the PS2! :)
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Postby Kisa » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:01 am

so whats going on here? will there be more?
thought I would resurrect the thread ^^
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Postby SP1 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:26 pm

Kisa wrote:so whats going on here? will there be more?
thought I would resurrect the thread ^^

Yep. Still in here. Actually, I got tasked with teaching yet another class for about another month, so that's two classes I teach a week (plus my over 40 hr per week "day" job). Therefore, this series is kind of taking a back seat right now.

I have a big H-R posted in my office at work and several H-R screen saver shots, so I think about it every day!

Not willing to let this drop yet.

:sweat:

:angel:
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Postby SP1 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:41 pm

OK, starting tomorrow, I commence using this guide for my adult Sunday School class. I asked them if they wanted to be guinea pigs. One woman said "Yes, use us as guinea pigs!" I have a whacked group, apparently.

Of course, only the first 8 episodes are pretty much finalized. 9 is mostly there, and I have the shell for 10 done. No slacking now, I have to finish it in about 8 weeks. Unless the class throws me out, of course.

:angel:
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Postby ClosetOtaku » Sat Feb 11, 2006 2:02 pm

Gambatte! Let us know how it goes... :-)
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Postby SP1 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:45 pm

OK, there are still a couple of items I need to fit into the EP 9-10 range, but I've got most of it in there. Here is the updated guide through EP 10.

One more DVD to go!

:angel:

The attachment was removed, please see a more recent posting.
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Postby ClosetOtaku » Sun Feb 12, 2006 1:58 pm

A couple typos: first paragraph, "begin" rather than "being"; Q4: "its" instead of "it's"; Prayer: "Appreciate".

A very good summary of the episode, which begins the setup of the final three chapters.

One thing that may be of importance here is the final scene: Reki and Nemu talking, with Reki insisting Nemu should not worry about her. Are there any Lone Rangers in Christianity?

I was always struck about the wearing of the Robe inside the Wall. It reminded me of the preparations of the High Priest before entering the Tabernacle (Leviticus and Deuteronomy, among others). The Wall tolerates nothing unholy, e.g. you can't drill a spike in it, you can't touch it, you have to wear the Robe...

Aside from these comments, I think your review of this particular chapter is right on. You've hit all the critical marks -- and like every episode, you have to carefully choose what to leave in and leave out. Your focus on the concept of forgiveness is what is appropriate here.

Thanks again -- so, how did the lesson go today? :thumb:
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Postby Kisa » Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:40 am

Awesome job! I can't wait for the completion ^^
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Postby SP1 » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:22 pm

OK, summary of lesson one:

Several people laughed at Rakka's difficulty with her hair when she gets her halo. Some were a bit shocked at the wing-emergence scene (we expected that). One said "I was waiting for Speed Racer to show up at any minute." OK, that last one is not likely to get an Otaku award.

We were a bit rushed. You definitely need a whole hour, and sometimes with prayer concerns, I don't get that. However, they want me to do another episode, so OK.

Now that I am doing this, it is probably best that the first few episodes are a bit lighter on the symbolism, etc. This gives non-anime viewers time to adapt to girls with large eyes ("because they're cuter that way, that's why!").

Nothing worth revising the first lesson for. There was one scritpure reference that was really too long to read that I might drop, or not.

I made the mistake of trying to teach this from the laptop. Must have a hardcopy. You need to move around AND take notes if someone comes up with a good comment. Someone had a small one that might have added a bit to the lesson, but I couldn't get it down before the point was lost in subsequent conversations. Grr.

Everybody did resonate well with the idea that new Christians or members to the church need mentoring so they don't just disappear.

:angel:
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Postby SP1 » Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:33 pm

[quote="ClosetOtaku"]A couple typos: first paragraph, "begin" rather than "being"]

OK, fixed all the typos and just re-loaded the file in the post below. There is so much to cover in EP10 that there isn't much time to dwell on Nemu and Reki's issues. I think I'm going to have to leave it with the brief point I already make of it.

Thanks for everyone's comments. Sorry about the spelling. Word is calling out a lot of errors because of the Japanese names, so they don't always stick out.

ps: I need to fix Kuu's name (not Koo), too.


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Sorry ladies, already married to HitomiYuriko , but it took both our efforts to come up with daughter Althaia

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Postby ClosetOtaku » Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:26 pm

That is just so cool.

I've had such mixed reactions to HR among people I've shared it with. Some people just come away unmoved. A couple people have enjoyed it -- but probably the same way you'd enjoy a movie you might never watch again.

I remember Oswald Chambers saying that you can never truly share your experiences with another person when it comes to certain things -- you have to just provide them the opportunity, and they will go through their own experience. I wish more people reacted to HR like I did, but that is probably pretty rare...

Nevertheless, it should be interesting. The first five episodes can be slow at times. I hope you can keep up the momentum for the rest of the series. I'm certainly glad you are trying!!

And, most of all, thank you for sharing it with us.
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." -- C.S. Lewis
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Postby SP1 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:53 pm

Three lessons down! The second one went OK. No significant lesson changes. Had smaller attendance at lesson #3, but that's not the lesson plan's problem. There are a lot of sports competition things going on and a lot of families are out of town. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

Lesson 3 was not generating a whole lot of discussion until we got to the "what is holy" concept. I used a personal example: in our church, baptism is normally done by sprinkling with water from a baptismal font (a basin). Now, I always assumed this was "holy water" brought in from somewhere. The other day, I happened to be sitting in the church kitchen when someone came in to fill the basin from the kitchen sink! There's a shocker! OK, so everyone pretty much agreed that it's the blessing that counts, not the water source. So then I let the "what if forced child labor in India (random country, I have nothing against India) was used to make your altar pieces" question. Yeah, that would be a problem. Hypocrasy in brass... We came to the conclusion that some folks feel they can worship God anywhere with anything, but that some church members need the ritual, the holy things, and to avoid interfering with their worship experience, we need to tread lightly around holy things. This is very timely for us, since we are about to embark on a major church upgrade program and seating, altar arrangement, etc., might be a-changin'.

The scripture reference to Acts 20 (Paul saying his goodbyes to the Ephesians) is messed up, I think. I need to change it to Acts 20:28-32, not verses 20-25.

Got a walk-in for #3, too. She seemed to like it. "It was interesting. Interesting and wierd."

I love my job.

:angel:
"Those who believe will be saved...so they say. Get it?"
Sister Rosette Christopher

Sorry ladies, already married to HitomiYuriko , but it took both our efforts to come up with daughter Althaia

Please use the Haibane Renmei Lesson Plan

MOES: Can't scroll this.
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Postby ClosetOtaku » Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:07 pm

Please, keep us up to date! Thanks for the reports. And I hope the conversation picks up (I expect around episode 6). Patience is a virtue...

"Interesting and weird", eh? Very cool. I think that sums it up nicely. :)
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." -- C.S. Lewis
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Postby glitch1501 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:23 pm

ive been following this for a while :) its cool, good luck

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