Got Questions? Check here.

Why would they do this to me-Those of you who have been using ChurchNext for a while may have noticed that the page for your church’s school has changed a bit in the past month or two.

Pathwright (our dauntless online education platform) has updated the platform, and the result is that it should be easier in the long term for you to add classes, add members, etc. to your courses.

In the short term, however, those comfortable with the old ways — the ancient traditions that go back at least a couple of years — may be wondering something along the lines of “What’s going on?” or “Why did they change it?” while getting used to the new formats for adding courses, inviting participants, etc.

ChristinaFear not! Behold: a new manual to help you figure out anything that might have changed. We bring you the new Getting Started manual. Written by the hand of one Mrs. Christina Dorn, ChurchNext tech guru extraordinaire, this updated manual should tell you anything you need to know as you adjust to our transition.

If you have any problems that the manual does not answer, please email us at hello@churchnext.tv .

 

 

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Earn A ChurchNext Certificate in Prayer Book Studies

ChurchNext has created a new certification program, in partnership with Bexley Seabury Seminary.

Announcing our new prayer book certification program. 

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  Image: Flickr. Creative commons.

ChurchNext has already created a certification program in vestry leadership, which has received positive feedback. Now we are adding a prayer book certification program, in which students take eight courses that explore the Book of Common Prayer. The courses are all taught by professors at Bexley Seabury Seminary.

By the end of this program, students will be extraordinarily well-educated about the Book of Common Prayer.

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  • They will know who wrote it, and when, and why.
  • They will know how and why the collects were written.
  • They will know the history of the creeds most central to the prayer book.
  • They will learn how the prayer book incorporates scripture.
  • They will know the prayer book’s history in England, the United States, and across the world.
  • They will even learn how to sing it.
  • This list will get too long if we include everything that participants will learn, but you get our drift.

Students can earn a certificate by completing all eight 45-minute courses, which will take an average learner a total of 3 hours. The courses are also available in a For Groups format, making them ideal for small group learning.

Successfully complete all of these courses and receive your custom Certificate in Prayer Book Studies.

Learn more about the prayer book certification program here. In the meantime, here is a list of the courses included in the program.

Please remember, these courses are available in For Groups format as well as for individual study.

For a preview of Roger Ferlo’s course on Scripture and the Prayer Book, click here.

 

Just Launched: Congregations as Sanctuaries with Paul Perez

Paul Perez

We just launched Congregations as Sanctuaries For Individuals and For Groups.

As most people in America know by now, the Trump Administration’s policies are hostile to undocumented immigrants. The U.S. government, which formerly tolerated most undocumented immigrants as long as they avoided committing serious crimes, has ICEadopted a much more aggressive approach, deporting people who are living here without permission even if they have no criminal history as well as hugely increasing the budget for policing the border and requiring local police offers to act as immigration enforcement agents. For more information about the Trump Administration’s policies toward undocumented immigrants, click here.

Many communities of faith in Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other religious traditions see these laws as unjust and cruel, especially because so many families are being brokenup as undocumented parents are deported away from spouses and children who are legal U.S. residents. In response to laws that they see as inhumane, these faith communities have chosen to offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants who are being threatened with deportation.

Lincoln Park Pres

Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church in Chicago is one of the first congregations to have offered sanctuary to undocumented residents since the Trump Administration policy changes.

To offer sanctuary today means to offer a place on the church grounds for undocumented individuals to live, prepare food, and sleep while they work toward getting permission to remain in the U.S. U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement internal regulations treat churches and other sacred spaces as sensitive areas, and agents are generally reluctant to forcibly remove people who seek sanctuary in such areas — though churches are not guaranteed the right to offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.

In this course,  Paul Perez, founder and director of  Justice For Our Neighbors  in Southeastern Michigan, explains why and how faith communities in the U.S. have chosen to offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants. He offers guidance about how a congregation might prepare itself to offer sanctuary to an undocumented individual or family, and he suggests ways in which congregations might join a larger network of faith-based organizations, nonprofits, and legal aid programs that assist undocumented immigrants.

We hope that any congregation that is discerning about a call to offer sanctuary to an undocumented immigrant or family will get some guidance from this class about how to proceed. For a preview, please click here.

 

 

Online Resources for Holy Week

The most sacred week in the Christian year will soon be upon us. As you consider ways in which you and your family will experience Holy Week this year, consider utilizing the following online resources:

ChurchNext Courses: We offer several courses that you can use to enrich your Holy Week.

Online Holy Week Retreats: Here are two Holy Week retreats available online:

  • A blog called Pins of Light has offered popular online Holy Week retreats for the past ten years. On Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, go to the site and click on that day’s retreat video. Each retreat takes 45 minutes-1 hour and includes passages from scripture, reflections, musical selections, and opportunities for prayer. This year’s retreat is entitled, “Are You The One? Praying in Disenchantment.” 
  • Creighton University offers a Holy Week retreat as part of its Lenten Retreat series. The retreat includes suggested readings, reflections, suggestions for prayers, the Stations of the Cross, and an opportunity to reflect and share thoughts with others.

Online Stations of the Cross: Many organizations offer online Stations of the Cross experiences.

  • The Catholic Online website’s Online Stations of the Cross  includes individual videos for each station, each about 3-4 minutes long.
  • Busted Halo’s Virtual Stations of the Cross offers videos with music and images. Participants read reflections at each station.
  • Creighton University’s Online Stations of the Cross offers images of each station and prayers that users may read themselves.stations of cross children
  • Loyola Press offers a multimedia Stations of the Cross for children. Using music, images, and simple meditative text, it offers a child-friendly service that older children who can read can use alone and that younger children can use with their parents’ help.
  • You might also try a virtual pilgrimage through sites in Jerusalem that traditionally have been associated with each of the fourteen Stations of the Cross. The site brings visitors to a numbered map through Jerusalem. At each numbered station on the map, the site offers an introduction to what viewers will find there and a slide slow of the buildings and the markers that designate the site as one of the traditional locations for each station. (Be patient with the slide show; it moves slowly.) After the slide show, viewers are shown an image of the altar associated with each station and invited to pray. Each virtual prayer station includes background music and textual prayers.

We hope that these resource suggestions help you experience a sacred Holy Week as we reflect together on Jesus’ death on the cross, what it means, and why it was necessary.