More “For Groups” courses now available

two or three

This week, the following courses go “live” in the For Groups format:

Advent for Families with Heath Howe
Lent for Families with Kim Baker
Reimagining Children’s and Youth Ministry with FaithForward
The Spirituality of Children with Catherine Maresca
Healthy Relationships for Couples with Scott and Holly Stoner
How to Help a Sick Friend with Joyce Mercer
How to Deal with Difficult People with Peter Steinke
How to Forgive with Virginia Holeman
Introduction to Christian Marriage with Paul Walters
Overcoming Sex Addiction with Mark Laaser

as well as our series about financial stewardship, Managing God’s Money, with Timothy Dombek:

Managing the Household Budget
Managing Credit Cards and Debt
Managing Church and Charity
Managing Retirement and Savings

Many people have the impression that churches talk about money too much — in the sense that they feel like churches are always “begging for money.” And yet, oftentimes, churches don’t talk about money enough, whether that means intentional teaching about Christian stewardship, or addressing local economic inequality, or talking about what the Bible really teaches about money. Why not make use of the For Groups format of Timothy Dombek’s excellent series on managing the money with which God has entrusted us? Start healthy, encouraging, proactive conversations about money and each person’s fears or worries or relationship with this topic. Talking about money doesn’t have to be a stress-inducing chore; rather, it can be a way to deepen our faith in God, and to make us aware of what sort of giving and commitments we’re being called to — if only we practice that trust.

Honestly and intentionally exploring our feelings about money — and how God is asking us to use our resources — can be a revitalizing and rewarding spiritual practice. Because many Christians have never really been taught how to be good stewards or how to create budgets and financial plans, your parish might use these Managing God’s Money courses for small group work, alongside workshops on estate planning and budgeting. You could create small groups with a wide range of ages and economic backgrounds to give people the opportunity to learn from each other’s resources and experiences. After all, we are called from the beginning of time to be good stewards of the world God has given us and to help people destroy those barriers of fear, ignorance, or mistrust that keep us from living in abundance.

We pray that, however you make use of these For Groups courses, you may grow in relationship and community with each other and with Jesus Christ.

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Big News! Part 1 of series on The Book of Common Prayer begins today

An American Prayer Book, A Global Prayer Book, taught by Tom Ferguson of Bexley Hall Seabury Western Theological Federation, is the first in an 8-part series on The Book of Common Prayer and launches today!ferguson

This course is a fascinating exploration of what “The Book of Common Prayer” literally means and why that matters.  That is, why is it “the” Book of Common Prayer?  What do we mean when we call it “common”?  What did its status as “book”  signify in the early days of the Anglican Church and why does it matter today?  What exactly does “prayer” look like?

After taking this course, you’ll have some answers to these sorts of questions; if they’d never occurred to you before, you’ll probably be left wondering why.  Tom Ferguson’s fascinating, engaging talks on each component of the BCP’s title will challenge you to think more deeply about the church’s history, present, and future.  To register or to learn more, click here.

This course is the first in an 8-part series called Introducing the Book of Common Prayer. The next seven 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.

New Course: Spiritual Roots of Loving Parenting with Scott and Holly Stoner

scott and hollyParenting is one of life’s most rewarding and challenging jobs. And in this course, taught by Living Compass founders Scott and Holly Stoner, we learn how a compass of faith, along with a faith community, can make the experience much richer.

Perhaps no other aspect of our lives offers as much frustration, challenge, victory and happiness as being a parent. Scott and Holy Stoner know this well. Not only are they the founders of Living Compass, a ministry devoted to wellness and wholeness within the Christian tradition, but they are parents as well.In this course, the Stoners touch on these important areas of Christian parenting:

  • We All Have a Compass
  • Grounded Parenting
  • Connected Parenting
  • Parenting and Discipline

This course is perfect for parents who are feeling overwhelmed as well as those looking for a spiritual center to their most important roles in life.

Learn more about this course here.

Holly and Scott Stoner are popular speakers, conference leaders, and founders of Living Compass, a ministry dedicated to wholeness. You can visit Living Compass here.

New Course: Lent for Families with Kim Baker

Kim BakerLent is a great opportunity not only for personal spiritual growth, but for the growth of the spirituality of families. This course is filled with practical tips from long-time educator and canon to the Washington National Cathedral Kim Baker who tells us how Lent offers an unparalleled opportunity for families to grow in Christ.

One blessing of the Church calendar is the cycle of life if mirrors in the lives of all Christians.

Lent is our wilderness because we all experience this time in our lives.  In this 45-minute course, Kim Baker shows us how Lent can be used to tap into these wilderness times as families.  Lessons include:

Why Lent Is for Families
Lenten Themes for Families
Lenten Activities for Families I
Lenten Activities for Families II

This course is ideal for families and educators looking to make the most out of Lent for families.

Find out more about Lent for Families here.
The Rev. Canon Kim Baker is the canon pastor at theWashington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. She is a lifelong educator specializing in children and families.

New Course: How to be a Crazy Christian

This last week, we launched our first free, online course called The Big Class with Bishop CurryBishop Michael Curry. This class will be open on Wednesday for you to take or to add to your own schools. It would be a great course to do in a lead up to Lent, during Lent, or even in Easter as it talks about what it means to follow Jesus and what it means to be a Crazy Christian.

You can find the class here!

This is a course with a warning label: All who enter here, expect to be transformed. Episcopal bishop Michael Curry is an inspiring and enthusiastic reformer with a clear call to reinvigorate the Church. Many people have experienced Christ’s transforming power through Bishop Curry’s ministry.

Garrison Keillor once said going to church makes someone a Christian about as much as sitting in a garage makes someone a Chevrolet. Bishop Michael Curry, of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina has a heart for reawakening believers to the tremendous gift and challenge of giving our all to follow Jesus. His term for this kind of person is a Crazy Christian.

In this 45 minute class, Bishop Curry will tell us:

  • What Is a Crazy Christian?
  • Why Being a Crazy Christian is Easy – and Hard
  • Habits of a Crazy Christian
  • Giving Yourself Permission

This course is ideal for those who are looking to be encouraged and challenged in their Christian faith.

Bishop Michael Curry serves as the Bishop of North Carolina in the Episcopal Church, and is a popular speaker and writer. His most recent book is Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus.

New Course: Managing Retirement and Savings with Timothy Dombek

So you’re out of debt, or at least at a manageable point, and you’re ready to save. How Timoty Dombeckdo we do it? How much, how often, and how long? CPF and Episcopal priest Timothy Dombek teaches us how to address these questions in this fourth and final installment of his Managing God’s Money series.

 Arriving at a place where we actually have money to save can be quite an accomplishment for many people. 

But don’t stop there, says financial planner and Episcopal priest Timothy Dombek. If we take advantage of the two most important aspects of saving, time and money, we may be surprised at the financial goals we can achieve.

In this class, Tim teaches us about:

  • The Time Value of Money
  • Saving for Future Events
  • The Ten Commandments of Financial Planning

This course is ideal for those who are seeking a deeper understanding of saving money and may be used in conjunction with the other three courses in the Managing God’s Money series.

One final note: This class is designed so that if you take it all by yourself you will certainly have learned a lot.

However, if you did that you may not be getting all you could out of this course. At ChurchNext, we believe that learning together really helps us move more effectively down the road of personal transformation. When we learn together we push ourselves, discover real insights, and most of all, embrace the discomfort that’s essential to turning education into learning.

We want to help every one of our subscribers change for the better, which is much more effectively done when learners come together, face to face when possible, for what can be powerful learning experiences. So if you’re taking this course, please consider with whom you might share the experience by inviting others to take it, online, with you. You can do this by selecting the ‘Create your own group class’ option.

And, even better, ponder how you might take this course with others who are nearby and with whom you might have some face to face interaction. Then, using the downloadable ‘Discussion Questions’ which are included in this course, once you’ve taken the course, get together and work through the material as a group.

Learn More about Managing Retirement and Savings.

The Rev’d Canon Timothy Dombek is Canon for Stewardship and Planned Giving in the Diocese of Arizona. He is a popular speaker whose blog you can read here.

New Course: Managing Church and Charity with Timothy Dombek

We all suspect we should be giving money to church and charity, but how much Timoty Dombeckshould we give, how should we decide, and how to we grab hold of the biblical truth that, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive?’ In this course, clergy person and money man Timothy Dombeck offers some great advice.

The most fulfilling emotions we feel are often related to the act of giving. Yet our financial lives often keep us from being as charitable as we would like.

Clergyman and money man Timothy Dombeck knows this well. In this course he challenges us to thing about:

  • Why Give to Church and Charity?
  • What Does the Bible Say about Managing Church and Charity?
  • Deciding How Much to Give
  • Tips for Getting There

This is a very helpful course for stewardship season in a church, as well as for those seeking information on personal finance and spirituality.

Learn more about Managing Church and Charity.

The Rev’d Canon Timothy Dombek is Canon for Stewardship and Planned Giving in the Diocese of Arizona. He is a popular speaker whose blog you can read here.