My horrendously stressful week is over, following our last residential weekend at Liverpool Hope Uni. I had 2 presentations to do, both of which I managed to do reasonably well (I think!) – certainly I got good feedback from the audience (is that the right word?) at the first one.
A small tip, though: when doing a Powerpoint presentation, always make sure your notes have some indication of which slide’s going to come where; I didn’t for my second one, so it was a bit like “Oh! That’s what’s next” or “That’s what I’ve just said” for half the slides.
Also, interesting to have a presentation on Baptist worship, being a Baptist and all. But then as the tutor said, there were 4 Baptists in the room (including himself), which probably meant 5 different opinions and 8 different styles of worship! That’s what being a Baptist is all about: call it openness, call it flexibility, call it just can’t make up our minds…
Actually, doing such an ecumenical course (albeit one that’s quite heavily Anglican-dominated, which isn’t a criticism) has made me want to explore more Baptist history and tradition and the reasons why we do the things we do. The problem is you just kind of fit in with the ways things are done and never stop to ask why, what’s behind it all etc. Why don’t we have liturgy, at least not the same extent as other denominations? Why can any believer lead Communion in the Baptist church? Why are Baptist services so different from church to church? I’m not saying any of these things are wrong, but I think it is good to get to know the history, tradition and reasoning of it all. Especially for a denomination with such a rich, radical, eventful past as the Baptist denomination.