Ruwoldt, Merryn

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  • Publication
    A still small voice: Is church and school dialogue sufficiently loud?
    (Lutheran Theological Journal; 47 (2) ) 2013 Ruwoldt, Merryn
    The history of the Lutheran church in Australia cannot be fully understood without due reference to the interconnections with its schools. The historical development of the schools is increasingly well documented by Hauser (2012, 2009) and others (Kleinschmidt 1999, Leske 1996, Zweck 1988, 1971, Volk 1962). Not so consistently recorded is the continuous theological feedback loop between the church and its schools. In 2013, around 42,000 students and teachers attend Lutheran schools in Australia every day. This is significantly more than attendance at worship on an average Sunday. What theological insights are we, as church, learning from those we touch through Lutheran schools? What are they learning about church from us? Has the nature of this learning changed over the past 175 years? Are we maximising the opportunities for theological growth presented to us by the relative strength of our education system, or do we simply see the whole area of education as just a useful community service or even as a 175 year drain on church resources? The answer to such questions may be more critical to the ongoing health of our church and its schools than one might initially recognise. If God is speaking to his church through its school communities, how well have we listened in the past, how well are we listening today?