Theme: Introduction to Baptismal Theology Faculty Speaker: Dean Laceye Warner, Executive Vice Dean, Associate Professor for the Practice of Evangelism and Methodist Studies Lectionary Texts: Ecclesiasties 3:1-8; Psalm 119:1-8, 33-48, 129-144; Romans 6:3-11; John 6:26-36
In the morning plenary, Dean Laceye Warner spoke about what it means to swim in the waters of baptism. She told us that baptism is about the formation of new identities, for individuals and the community. In other words, such baptismal identity is personal, and thus about our individual transformation, but it is also about God’s creation of the church, and thus a new people. After acting out early baptismal rites with the help of students, Dean Warner challenged us to reflect on the connection between baptism and our vocation (calling) as baptized Christians. She suggested that the Church’s vocation is to witness to the reality of God’s presence in the world so that the world might be drawn to God.
“Our identities as children of God are our ultimate identity.”— Dean Warner
Dean Warner: “We are going into baptism. We have been fasting and we are hungry. I think that’s important because I missed breakfast.”
Student: “My mom says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
“Baptism is an opportunity for the Church to nurture [Christians]. It is a place where the Holy Spirit is known to work in specific ways”—Dean Warner
“The creation of a new identity through the flowing waters of baptism in the name of the Triune God for a sanctified life.”—DYA’s summary of Dean Warner’s lecture
Today was our first full day at DYA. As we will continue to do in the next two weeks, we began the day in Duke Chapel with morning prayer and ended it with worship, at a celebration of word and table with Rev. Andrew Thompson preaching and Rev. Edgardo Colon-Emeric presiding over Communion. In anticipation of the Arts Village, we met midday in Goodson Chapel for the Arts Village Showcase, during which our four artists—a potter, Biblical storyteller, liturgical dancer, and painter—shared their call narratives and representative pieces of work. We were invited to understand God as Creator and human beings as participating in God’s creative work through the arts. Appropriately, we explored these themes through embodied, tactile experiences; we played with clay, molded one another into living sculptures, and placed painted hands on a tree of life. We are seeing connections between our creative work and God’s own act of creating and we are learning to think imaginatively about what it means to be part of God’s people in the world.