launching today: Reading and Praying in Church: The Office of Lector

The scripture is fullfilled in our hearing

Lectoring is an ancient ministry. Scripture says that Jesus himself read aloud in the temple. If you read or lead prayers in your church (or both!), or if you are considering engaging that ministry, consider taking our new class, Reading and Praying in the Church: The Office of Lector with Tim Spannaus.

Tim takes us back to the origins of lectoring and teaches us how the laity came to engage this sacred ministry. He offers valuable suggestions for preparing and proclaiming passages from scripture, including intellectual and spiritual ideas on how to better understand and convey the meanings of scriptural passages. The class also includes training on practicalities. Wondering what to do if the reading includes words like “Pi-Hahiroth” or “Zerubbabel”? Concerned about when to look at the congregation and when to look down at the reading (and not losing your place trying to do both at the same time)? Tim’s class answers these questions and many more. The class also includes valuable training about leading psalms and reading or leading public prayers.

If your ministry involves training lectors, or if the lectors at your church would like to study together, consider utilizing our group class, formatted for group discussion. While you are there, take Tim’s advice and practice your readings for one another! You can give each other valuable feedback.

Would you like a sneak preview? Enjoy this video! 

Tim Spannaus is a deacon and lector at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Royal Oak, Michigan. He teaches on liturgy at The Whitaker Institute in Detroit, Michigan.

What Makes a REAL Woman?

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Top Ten List of What We Can Learn from the Mothers in the Bible:

– Real mothers seek, create and sustain life in the face of death, destruction and disappointment.

– Real mothers do not stop claiming what is their right—to bear a child.

– Real mothers love their people, forecast imminent danger, take steps to fight it, and serve on the front lines, ready to lay down their lives.

– Real mothers are courageous in letting their children step confidently into their future.

– Real mothers minister to others even in the midst of desperate circumstances.

– Real mothers speak up and voice their pain, especially in times of tremendous grief.

– Real mothers raise their sons and daughters to be faithful people, and to remain true to their teachings and values.

– Real mothers unleash their deepest desires at Jesus’ feet—and when seemingly rejected, persevere in pursuing healing.

– Real mothers stand up for and stand by their children and families, pursuing for them their best goal and godly vocations.freeman

– Real mothers, sometimes, at great personal expense, say Yes to God—and the the world is transformed.

As Lindsay Hardin Freeman, author of this list and instructor of our latest course (launching Sunday) reminds us: these characteristics apply to all who serve as “mothers” — those who are biological mothers and those who aren’t. The women of the Bible are part of a “holy and sacred circle” — one that is still open.

Stay tuned for Let the Women Speak, which launches Sunday. In the meantime, check out Lindsay’s wonderful blog and books by clicking here.

animate: Bible 3 launches today

In our third course of the animate: Bible series with Augsburg Fortress and Sparkhouse Publishing, we are challenged to rethink how we read, interpret, and relate to the Scriptures. William Willimon and Jay Bakker offer us hopeful reminders that, though the Bible is complex and in need of interpretation, the overall message is simple: love and grace and freedom. animate

Though many have limited and oversimplified the Bible — even using it as a tool for inspiring fear or guilt — this course reminds us that the Bible is more complex than that. It cries out for interpretation and ongoing study, with prayer and in community. William Willimon reminds us that the Bible represents all the complexity and unpredictability of our God and speaks to us, who are complex creations ourselves. And yet, paradoxically, the Bible’s message of love and forgiveness are heart-freeingly simple. If you grew up in a tradition in which the Bible incited fear, guilt, and distress, Jay Bakker invites you to revisit it through the “lenses” of Jesus and St. Paul. They just may set you free.

We’re excited to offer this third opportunity to reanimate our thinking about the Bible, with such engaging and wise instructors.  Click here for more information or to register.