Next course in our Introducing the Prayer Book series: Scripture and The Prayer Book with Roger Ferlo

Someone once described The Book of Common Prayer as “the Bible rearranged for worship;” in Scripture and The Prayer Book, Roger Ferlo, President of Bexley Seabury Theological Federationshows how that can be a very accurate characterization.

Our latest course in the eight-part “Introducing the Book of Common Prayer” series we’re producing in partnership with Bexley-Seabury, Scripture ferloand the Prayer Book helps us understand how the language and actions of the Book of Common Prayer are the language and actions of Holy Scripture.  From the rubrics of the Prayer Book to the lectionaries, the Psalms, and the Canticles, worshipping with the Book of Common Prayer means enacting the two great commandments: to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Join us to explore how the Prayer Book helps us proclaim, read, do, and pray the Holy Scriptures.  Click here for more information or to register.

This course is the fourth in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next four courses will be launching in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. This series is brought to us by our partners at Bexley Seabury Federation, an Episcopal center for learning and development. Bexley offers online and in-person classes for everyone at its Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH campuses. For more information visit www.bexleyseabury.edu.

Registration is now open for The Big Class with Father Albert Cutie

Living a Spirit-Filled Life

“God speaks in the silence of the heart.” ~ Mother Teresa

cutieThis Pentecost, join thousands of students around the world to learn how to live a Spirit-filled life. Students can begin registering today to take the course for free anytime between June 8 – 15. Click here to register and learn more.

Fr. Albert Cutie, New York Times bestselling author, talk show host, and Episcopal priest in Southeast Florida, will teach “The Big Class.” The course will expand on Fr. Cutie’s books and sermons that focus on how we bring God into our everyday lives. This course follows the tremendous success of Bishop Michael Curry’s January class, “How to Be a Crazy Christian” for which 3,000 students from 30 countries registered.

Fr. Cutie will also moderate the course and answer online questions during the week of The Big Class. Participants can take the class anytime during the week of June 8-15 at churchnext.tv. The course takes about 45 minutes to complete and need not be taken in one sitting. No special software is required. Click here for organizational materials for congregations who wish to take the class together.  Click here for a preview clip of the course on YouTube.

Throughout Living a Spirit-Filled Life, students are encouraged to think about and to experience the Holy Spirit and its meaning for their lives. “We are living in one of the most anxious times in history,” writes Fr. Cutie. “Dramatic changes are everywhere – technology, communications, relationships – and the pace of this change has many of us reeling in anxiety.  This means many of us find it difficult to find God, even though we know God is there. A Spirit-filled life is the life in which we can let go and let God.” The Big Class will help Christians deepen their commitment to follow the Spirit and proclaim the love of God in their lives and communities.

The Big Class is a worldwide initiative in open online learning for all who want to go further in their walk with Christ and is free to everyone, everywhere, thanks to the support of Bexley Seabury, The Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, Logos Bible Software, and Forward Movement.

 

Part 2 of The Book of Common Prayer: Spirituality of the Prayer Book

What is the Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer?  How does it inform people’s lives and beliefs as members of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as Christians in general?  Whether you’re a lifelong Episcopalian, a newcomer to the denomination, or a member of another faith tradition, you’ll find much of interest and much worthy of thought in this new course. Click here to learn more and sign up for this course.

After all, when the crafters of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) set out to assemble an accessible guide to prayer and liturgy they were also intentional about putting together a resource that could shape disciples for a lifetime. Karl Ruttan

In this course, spiritual director, teacher, and writer Karl Ruttan shows us how the Book of Common Prayer can be used to deepen our spiritual lives. It’s called ‘The Spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer.’  Karl begins by telling us how the BCP serves as a handbook for holiness.  He then walks us through its origins in Benedictine spirituality. He also shows us how to use the Daily Offices, or daily prayer liturgies for morning and evening prayer. Karl ends by showing us how we might use the Baptismal Covenant as a foundation for a rule of life.

This course is the second in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next six courses will be launching in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. This series is brought to us by our partners at Bexley Seabury Theological Federation, an Episcopal center for learning and development. Bexley offers online and in-person classes for everyone at its Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH campuses. For more information visit www.bexleyseabury.edu.

Join us!

New Course: Introducing the Psalms with Isaac Everett

We’re excited to announce our latest course, a thoughtful and engaging Introduction to the Book of Psalms.  After all, the Psalms are woven into the very fabric of our church’s history and contain some of the most powerful and poignant words we may ever encounter.
isaac

Musician and composer Isaac Everett argues that there is no more human book in the Bible than the Psalms, which means that these poems have a way of touching us like no other. Everett has been immersed in the psalms for years, and has even written a psalter of his own.

In this class, Isaac gives us an engaging overview of the Psalms by touching on these areas:

  • Origins of the Psalms
  • Themes of the Psalms
  • Favorite Psalms
  • How to Read the Psalms

This class is an insightful overview suitable for newcomers to the Psalms as well as for veterans who are looking for a solid refresher course. Click here for more information or to register: Introducing the Psalms with Isaac Everett.

Isaac Everett is a sought-after worship leader, speaker and thinker who is minister of music for two faith communities, in Maine and Boston. He is also the author of The Emergent Psalter.

New Course: Developing Christian Patience

Jeff BullockJust can’t wait? Patience is something our faith can help us develop. Patience is one of those things that everyone would like to have but few seem to really practice. As we will learn in this course, Christian patience is a very different thing from patience as the secular world knows it. Whereas in popular culture, patience is something practiced in hopes of a self-serving reward, in Christianity, patience is focused on others and is not limited to worldly timelines. Christian patience is truly counter-cultural in that it is not coerced into urgent schedules or focused on measurable, immediate rewards or success. Christ-like patience is focused on the needs of others; it involves endurance, suffering, submission to others, and it rests on the assurance that we already know the outcome, and that God is there. Even though we struggle with patience, God has all the time in the world–and beyond!–for us. God always has more time– for reconciliation, for blessing, for peace.

In this course, Jeff Bullock provides a thought-provoking and fascinating exploration of what true Christian patience is. The lessons help us step back and reexamine who and what is ordering our time and our sense of worth. Patience is a gift from God and if we can abide in it, we will know deep peace. Click here to learn more about this course and how to take it.

The Rev. Dr. Jeff Bullock has served numerous congregations, serves as a teaching canon in the Diocese of Arizona, and is the author of the upcoming book Practicing Christian Patience.

Preview to Advent

AdventWe know that you are planning ahead and may be wondering what you want your ChurchNext school to focus on during the season of Advent. It is a little over two months, we wanted to give you a ‘heads up’ on what we have planned specially for Advent and what courses we already have that you might want to use during this season. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer!

New Courses

We are going to be launching new courses just for Advent! One course is an Introduction to Advent and another is how to make Advent a holy time for your family.

Introduction to Matthew

If you are using the Revised Common Lectionary, our Gospel lessons beginning in Advent will mostly come from the Gospel of Matthew. As a way for your congregation or group to learn a bit about the Gospel before spending the next year with it, you may want to encourage your schools to take the Introduction to Matthew.

For Families

As families gear up for the holiday season, they may be wondering what they can do during the season to make is special, to mark it as different, and how to start a new practice. We would encourage you to use the course “Start a Family Devotional Time,” with Anne Kitch. This course will help you take practical and meaningful steps toward enhancing your family’s spiritual journey.

Another course that will help your family discover or rediscover ways to engage in holy practices each day is “Developing Holy Habits” with Valerie Hess. Raising  children who will be inspired and nourished by their faith is one of the most important jobs parents have. In this course, noted author Valerie Hess takes us through a number of disciplines that can benefit our children.

Grieving Well

Holidays are difficult for people who have had a death in the family or those who grieve each holiday because they miss people whom they love but see no longer. In the course “Grieving Well,” Chaplain Andrew Gerns tells us what grieving well looks like. He walks us through the four tasks of grief, and gives us helpful tips and strategies for getting over loss. And he tells us what positive and negative signs look like and how to address them. This course is perfect for those who are getting through loss, as well as those who care for others who are grieving. (This course will launch this coming Sunday, September 29, 2013.)

New: Praying with Icons with Randall Warren

We are thrilled to launch a new course today: Praying with Icons with Randall Warren.  Administrators can now find this course in the ChurchNext catalog and start using it in their schools!

The word ‘icon’ is perhaps most popularly used with reference to a thumbnail image on our computers: it is a small illustration that takes us to a much bigger place.

This is the same with the library of Christian imagery that believers have been using for centuries to take them to bigger places – into a deeper sense of the presence and understanding of God.

In this course, pastor and teacher Randall Warren introduces us to the theology, history, and practice of icons, showing us how we might use them to deepen our own faith in Jesus.