At our recent eMBA class, we had a discussion on a very current topic; religions and the role of the Finnish church.
Basically the common view was that the Finnish evangelic lutheran church is old fashioned and has no clear strategy.
What was missed was a clear positioning; a view on how church really sees homosexuality and women in church and how they want to serve their members. The discussion of gay people has been refreshing, for the church to really clarify who is their target audience what what purposes they serve. They´ve never had any yt-neuvottelu (cooperation negotiations) to bring focus and efficiency.
We invented a new service concept for church at christmas. Instead of packing to a crowded church, why not have a short outdoor ceremony with a few songs, punch, having people go out for a walk but having an easy-to-use religious service.
We also discussed whether religion should be part of education in schools and if they should organize christmas parties. Votes were for and against. I know, christmas parties are nice, but it´s a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Is the role of schools to celebrate religious events? Instead, should or could schools celebrate the end of a school term and find another program for that? Why would schools portray religious agenda if they not have a political agenda? If one role of religion is to educate ethics and behaviour, would there not be other ways of doing this eg philosophy?
I still belong to church. My main reasoning is the goodwill done for less fortunate. But I, too, start questioning the role it could provide taken the opportunities from today´s needs of emotional and physical wellbeing.