In this September edition of our Sophia Talks, Steven Defer, the Family and Life Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Edmonton, expands upon the definition of what it means to be a family, and speaks about the family as a church.
"Like family, the idea of the church is rich and complex," Steven said.
"For many of you, when you think of church you may think of Rome and the Vatican. The Pope. All that governance," he said as he pointed to the large doll in a Ukrainian nesting doll set that was on display. "For others, you might think of the bishops, the priests, the clergy. Other still the parish or congregation -- their local community," he continued, pointing in turn to the incrementally smaller dolls.
"The letter of James... speaks rather clearly and pragmatically about what a church is. It says a religion is this: to care for the orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. For James, like St. Paul, the early church was synonymous with house churches, and therefore families. You could not have an understanding of one without the other."