ChurchNext and Augsburg Fortress Partner to Shape Disciples

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ChurchNext and Augsburg Fortress have teamed up to bring the popular animate series to an online learning environment. Presenters include Brian McLaren, Lillian Daniel, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and Mark Scandrette whose video presentations anchor the learning experience and combine with quizzes, discussion rooms, downloads, and other features to help individual and group learners more deeply contemplate some of life’s most important questions. Check out the online courses here.

“This top-selling curriculum has already touched and inspired the lives of many,” said ChurchNext founder Chris Yaw, “We are proud to be able to extend its reach and allow online learners a platform to grow in faith.”

There are three animate series to date which have been launched in DVD format by Augsburg: animate: Faith, animate: Bible, and animate: Practices.  ChurchNext has launched its first online learning series, animate: Faith here. The online learning versions of animate: Bible will launch in early 2015 and animate: Practices will soon follow.

The animate series has been described as “designed to energize conversations about faith, with the hope that this will spark new life in churches”.  Casual but ordered, funky yet substantive, modern yet based on and exploring age old truisms, this series wants to “animate” all our senses. Participants are encouraged to create through journaling, creative writing and graphics; whatever method helps to explain or enhance the conversation.

Presenter Mark Scandrette says, “Christianity is not just something to believe, it is a way of life, and that by learning to follow Jesus’ way, we will experience the rest and become agents of God’s healing in our world.”  animate DVD and animate online are poised to help in this mission by inspiring deeper conversations on faith, deeper immersion into what it means to lead faithful lives in Christ, and helping students become more fully those agents of God’s healing in our world.

Part III of Animate: Faith is open!

We continue to be excited about the potential for life-changing conversation that the innovative Animate series offers; the final course in this three-part series, Animate: Faith 3, launches today. This unique program is designed to spur thought, discussion, wondering, pondering, and spiritual growth not by offering answers to some of faith’s most difficult or basic questions but by offering new ways of considering them.animate

Animate Faith 3 features two more of the most engaging and sought-after speakers on faith today: Lauren Winner invites us to consider just why we read and re-read the Scriptures, and what makes them different from any other great book. She also suggests ways we might renew our daily Scripture reading, using “embodied cognition.” And Bruce Reyes-Chow helps us rethink what we mean when we call the church a “family.” He suggests that going to church — and being part of an often dysfunctional family group — can be the best decision we can make.

This course is produced in partnership with Augsburg Fortress Publishing, which offers the Animate Faith DVD curriculum as well as facilitator guides and journals for small groups. Click here to find out more.

For more information or to register for Animate Faith 3 please click here.

Part II of Animate: Faith is now open!

We are thrilled to be presenting the engaging, thought-provoking, and innovative Animate series through ChurchNext. The second course in this three-part series, Animate Faith 2, launches today. This unique program is designed to spur thought, discussion, wondering, pondering, and spiritual growth not by offering answers to some of faith’s most difficult or basic questions but by offering new ways of considering them.animate

Animate Faith 2 features two more of the most engaging and sought-after speakers on faith today: Shane Hipps urges us to rethink our understandings of salvation because, as he says, when Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven, he uses not the future tense but the present. What might it mean for us to tune our hearts to recognize salvation in the here and now? And Nadia Bolz-Weber offers a refreshing take on the cross and the crucifixion, one which reminds us of God’s value system, not our own.

This course is produced in partnership with Augsburg Fortress Publishing, which offers the Animate Faith DVD curriculum as well as facilitator guides and journals for small groups. Click here to find out more.

Stay tuned for the launch of Animate Faith Part 3 next week.  To register for Animate Faith 2 please click here.

First course in the Animate Faith series is now open!

We are thrilled to be presenting the engaging, thought-provoking, and innovative Animate series through ChurchNext. The first course in this three-part series, Animate Faith 1, launches today. This unique program is designed to spur thought, discussion, wondering, pondering, and spiritual growth not by offering answers to some of faith’s most difficult or basic questions but by offering new ways of considering them.animate

Animate Faith 1 features three of the most engaging and sought-after speakers on faith today: Brian McLaren offers his reflections on what we mean when we talk about God, and the various ways people have of imagining, describing, and conceiving of God. Mark Scandrette shakes up our ideas of the way we do church, suggesting that if we truly want to practice Christianity, we need to practice a revolution of love and service like Jesus did. And Lillian Daniels offers wisdom on why we actually do need religion, that though religion is often seen as a dirty word in our culture, spirituality is not enough.

This course is produced in partnership with Augsburg Fortress Publishing, which offers the Animate Faith DVD curriculum as well as facilitator guides and journals for small groups. Click here to find out more.

Stay tuned for the launch of Animate Faith Parts 2 and 3 in the coming weeks.  To register for Animate Faith 1 please click here.

New course: Preparing For Infant and Children’s Baptism in the Episcopal Church

This latest course on baptism by the Rev. Canon Anne Kitch is a wonderful exploration of what baptism of young children can and should mean for us adults. Preparing For Infant and Children’s Baptism isn’t just a wonderful primer on how to prepare for having a child baptized, it’s also an insightful reminder that baptism isn’t just a moment in time. Rather, it’s a life lived in Christ, one which we’re promising to support when we witness someone’s baptism.

In five lessons, Anne explains what sorts of promises we adults make, what they mean, how to live them out in our daily lives, and why this all matters. She offers concrete wisdom and tips on how to live out the covenant we make for ourselves and on behalf of our children. This course is a kitchwonderful introduction for parents and godparents; it’s also an invaluable reminder to all members of a church community who are responsible for helping to bring children up into the Christian faith and life, and into the full stature of Christ. Click here for more information or to register.

The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch is a mother and an Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of Bethlehem, PA. She is the author of several books including The Anglican Family Prayer Book.

 

 

New course: Adult Baptism in the Episcopal Church with Anne Kitch

This latest course in our series on baptism offers an in-depth look not only at Adult Baptism in the Episcopal Church but also on the ways that baptism is an action and that the baptized life is an ongoing journey of deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.  So whether we were baptized years ago as tiny babies or recently as adults, we are all called to regularly read, pray, and inwardly digest our Baptismal Covenant and to work towards living out its promises in our daily lives. kitch

In this course, Anne Kitch explains how baptism in the Episcopal Church is meant just as much for adults as it is for infants.  She helps us explore, remember, and live out the promises we make in our Baptismal Covenants.  She shows us how baptism is an action, one that is ongoing. She reminds us of our calling as baptized Christians to love, to serve, to worship, to offer ourselves as ministers. In addition to being a rich introduction to baptism for adults, this course is a wonderful reminder of the importance — in our daily lives — of our own baptisms. Click here to register or for more information.

The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch is a mother and an Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of Bethlehem, PA. She is the author of several books including The Anglican Family Prayer Book.

 

New course: Introducing Christian Baptism with Anne Kitch

You can’t know everything before you take the plunge. There is more grace and love to be had than you ever imagined. ~Anne Kitch

As we learn in this course, Introducing Christian Baptism, when we are born again by water and words, we are not just granted some one-time ticket to Heaven. Rather, we are entering into a new community, becoming part of the Body of Christ, which is the Church, and we are committing to becoming — day by day — more of who God intends us to be.  We are promising to uphold our faith through thought, word, and deed.  We enter into a sacred covenant with a loving God, one that can never be dissolved, one to which God will always be faithful. kitch

This course offers a wonderful introduction to baptism, especially within the Episcopal Church, but it’s also a fabulous refresher for those of us who have already been baptized.  Anne Kitch walks us through a brief history of baptism, defines what baptism as a sacred covenant is, and then helps us understand what baptism means to us and what we give in return. Baptism grants us belonging in the most wonderful community on earth and is something we don’t do alone. Click here for more information or to register.

And stay tuned for more courses by Anne Kitch on the sacrament of baptism launching this month: Adult Baptism in the Episcopal Church and Preparing for Infant and Children’s Baptism.

The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch is a mother and an Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of Bethlehem, PA. She is the author of several books including The Anglican Family Prayer Book.