Table Talk


I was very excited facilitating the informal dinner at Little Penang Cafe at Mid Valley whicih later moved to Starbucks tonight. I’m missing from the picture (which I don’t mind really!) because I’m capturing this moment.

I felt it was a good mix … On the left Rev. Tang (who’s interest includes contemplative spirituality & church history), next to him is Pastor Chan (who’s interest is in his words politics & public theology) both are the Chinese speaking pastors of our denomination. On the right, Dr. Truscott (who”s focus is on historical theology – specifically on Chrstian initiation & liturgy as well as Cathecumunate) paying us a friendly visit and Rev. Greininger (who’s interest includes theology & practical ministry) our close friend offering perspectives from America and Germany respectively (with insights from their experiences in Japan as well as Papa New Guinea). This is the kind of dialogue, laughter, conversation and interaction that I find so nourishing and fun!

We moved in and out of all kinds of topics from Malaysian food to our ministry experiences, some joys and frustrations with our contexts and observations. We talked about Christian Initiation, affirmation, rites of passage, llturgy and it’s relation in a communal faith as well as a link to the world we live in. We tossed ideas on what it means to work constructively and creatively, how we can engage people who do not use overtly “theological categories” but think more in “practical categories” (I borrowed this insight from listening to Doug Pagitt last night … very helpful). Of course, I admit there were not many conclusions that we came to … but that’s the nature of conversation … in it’s informality we are given space to allow our minds to try out different options and directions.

I believe we will use different contexts and opportunities to settle on some more concrete answers, work-in-progress models, and flexible strategies or steps forward. So, it’s nice to bring my fellow Lutherans together representing in someway the east and the west, academic and pastoral, theological and practical, etc. I find joy in “creating” or “facilitating” environments like this.

I could imagine a little how Luther’s table talks were … just a little. Maybe not so much in form (coffee replaced beer in this case) but definately in substance!

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