Las Cruzes

2 05 2010

It’s a funny festival. Outside churches in plazas you find large crosses with a cover of flowers, standing over incredible displays of flowers and plants. There’s always a bar alongside the cross often playing Sevillanas which later in the night switches to include some more contemporary music as people chill out, chat and dance. Some of the crosses are beautiful and the plazas festive, the atmosphere incredible. But the whole thing is so surreal and discordant it’s hard to make sense of people gathering to drink and dance beneath the cross.

Chatting with Marina about the changes in churches, she mentioned how here generation left the Catholic church and set themselves apart from the Catholic society in identifying themselves as the protestant church. That meant that a lot of the traditions that came with the Catholic culture weren’t appropriate for the protestant Christians – especially the more evidently ‘religious’ ones like the crosses. But over the last few years that has left the church a little on the back foot with these huge events that mark the cultural and festive calendar of Córdoba. I felt this was especially unfortunate over Easter – when we haven’t a public claim on our own holidays. But it also means that we miss opportunities to get people thinking and present an alternative.

It was interesting to hear Marina comment that she sees that things have changed. The protestant church isn’t any longer the ‘non-Catholics’ and most of the people who are celebrating these things aren’t catholic. The game has shifted. The dominant thoughts include hedonism, agnosticism and materialism. So the necessity isn’t to distance ourselves from the Catholic traditions but to have a voice in a market place so packed with options.

What would it look like to be on the front foot? I’ve been thinking about the ‘Cruzes’. I have a few corny ideas about a cross outside the Baptist church with a bar that doesn’t serve alcohol but a sign that speaks of the John 4:14 water that satisfies. The reality is I’m neither that quick witted but more so, nowhere near informed enough o know what works best in this context. But I’d love to be part of getting people thinking – developing that next step forward onto the front foot…

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