By Samson Samuel, MTS Student at CTS and Studio Ninety-Six Team Member
I felt as if I was at Times Square in Manhattan or was back in the city of Delhi, India as I entered the chapel this Wednesday. It was the city noise, the noise of the traffic, people, motor vehicles, police, ambulance, etc being heard. The chapel looked like a city, with the noise and pictures of city and its life, on the sanctuary and at different places of the pews. These were the pictures of the homeless, hopeless and the destitute lying on the footpaths, pictures of the busy working class, the marginalized and the daily wage workers, the ignorant, the harassed, depressed, and so on, clicked by Ellen M. Corcella an MTS student at CTS. There were also placards with words like Violence, Ignored, Devalued, Prejudice, Failings, and also Reconcile, Hope, Peace, Forgive, Light, Trust and Love, telling us the life of the city and the need of the city life as well.
Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana the President of Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) was the preacher for the day. It was a call from the Kingdom to partner with the Christ of the city, ministering to these hopeless, lonely, marginalized and also to all those in the city who do not know the True Love. The ambience created the presence and moved the hearts to receive this powerful invitation for urban ministries.
Creating an ambience definitely makes a difference. It just requires a little effort in gathering the appropriate materials related to the preaching and displaying it so well that it catches the eye and heart of the congregant. In such an ambience the Word becomes more meaningful and even more powerful. I appreciate the chapel committee for putting the efforts to gather the pictures and display it so well with the candles, placards with the city noise as the background music. Blessings!!!