Shifting Paradigms: Culture, Mission and Church


First day . . .

At  8:30 am,  the session started by a Gathering  Prayer.

Dr. Manny de Guzman

Fr. Giulio Mariani, PIME introduced the resource person, Dr. Emmanuel S. De Guzman who is to handle the topic Shifting Paradigms: Culture, Mission and Church for five days.

As Dr. Emmanuel begun to unfold gradually the word “paradigm” with various visual exercises, we were affirmed then that our resource speaker is an expert of Theology as Fr. Giulio revealed in his introduction.

The participants undoubtedly enjoyed the first day as they were made crazy identifying various visuals and graphics that almost caused them to develop squinted eyes. The exercises likewise, made us realized that people have different paradigms, perspective and ways of valuing things.

After an in-depth and exhaustive discussion on paradigm and its principles, Dr. De Guzman dispersed the participants to their integration group for sharing and interaction of ideas with his instruction that group outputs be reported the next day.

Second day . . .

For a change, the gathering prayer was done outside the hall. Back at the session hall, reporting of group outputs by integration group followed. Dr. De Guzman then proceeded with another topic “paradigm seekers”. Come next was the presentation and discussion of the Three Historico-Cultural Paradigm of Church and Mission,  to wit: Jesus Movement in the Jewish Culture; Church and Mission in the Greco-Roman and Medieval European Culture; and World Church.

Photo taken during the concluding prayer titled Blessing Dance. The participants blessed Dr. De Guzman for sharing his knowledge and life experiences.

After the comprehensive discussion on Jesus movement in the Jewish culture, we were given three questions on how the paradigm of Jesus and his movement inspire and challenge us today to deepen our appreciation of the topic.  Dr. De Guzman then, dispersed the participants according to ministry functions.

Third day . . .

After the gathering prayer done outside the hall, a substantial sharing followed on the discussion made by the ministry groups as to the learnings and insights on  Jesus and His movement, the reaction and implication of the statement “At the center of Jesus Mission is not the church but the reign of God” , and reaction of the church being a “contrast-culture” with the society’s culture.

Dr. De Guzman then discussed “Church and Mission in the Greco-Roman and Medieval European Culture” where he highlighted that a paradigm shift was developing and started in the 4th century. Likewise, a great shift was propelled on God’s revelation and faith, Christ and salvation, church and the kingdom of God, understanding of mission, mission and catholicity and in the understanding of human person as well.

Fourth day . . .

The day was started by a gathering prayer after which the participants were requested to group themselves as to age bracket.  To deepen the understanding of the yesterday’s topic,  the following questions were given for reflection, to wit:          a) What do you think the positive aspects or benefits of the Greco-Roman/Platonic paradigm of the church and mission in the past and today?; b) What do you consider as the negative aspects or damaging consequences of this paradigm in the past and today?

After snack time, the groups convened for reporting. The afternoon session was spent in film viewing of the movie titled “The Good Pope”  who initiated the  Vatican II Council that brought the break through of change in the whole church and mission.

Fift day . . .

Dr. De Guzman elicited insights and reflections from the participants on the film: The Good Pope – Pope John Paul the XXIII. He further stressed the role played by the Good Pope who gave rise to the World Church.

The resource person, talked over the last topic titled Emerging Paradigms of Missions as offshoot of Vatican II.  He likewise, accentuated some important points in relation to church missions. He also challenged the participants by showing various caricatures and maxims on paradigms, interpersonal skills and working attitudes as well as  his parting words “All shall be well and all manner of life shall be well ”.

Nuggets of Wisdom from some participants . . .

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