Articulating the Via Media

Embracing the mystery requires great (1)

This week, we’re pleased to launch The Episcopal Way, with Stephanie Spellers and Eric Law. If you’ve ever wondered about what makes the Episcopal Church unique, this course is a great place to start, as it’s a foretaste of a project seeking to rearticulate the beliefs and practices of the Episcopal Church. As Spellers says in the first lesson, about every 20 years the Episcopal Church commits to reexamining and defining itself as a church, as part of the Episcopal commitment to the “three-legged stool” of scripture, tradition, and reason, on which Episcopal liturgy and practice are based.

We commend this course to lifelong Episcopalians as well, since we live in a fast-paced and ever-changing culture, in which we need to feel comfortable articulating and sharing our faith tradition. Stephanie and Eric offer a working definition of “the Episcopal Way” as well as some engaging insight on why the Episcopal Church is especially relevant and life-giving in this day and age.

You may also want to take this course in a small group setting, either among newcomers to the church or those in leadership. Either way, you’ll enjoy and appreciate Eric and Stephanie’s engaging, insightful, and interesting discussions, as you think more deeply about this rich faith tradition — and its future.

TREC 3: Culture and Leadership launches today

We’re pleased to launch our third course in the TREC series (which stands for Task-Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church) today, and this is one that will get us all thinking about God’s dream for God’s church. When we think of the Church as God’s family, including all its members –and indeed relying on all its members — we also need to think of how well we are following Jesus’ example of listening to and celebrating the dignity of every human being.trec

In six lessons, various thought leaders in the Episcopal Church urge us to explore the ideas of wholeness, balance, inclusion, and relationality. Stephanie Spellers, who teaches at General Theological Seminary, presents the idea of the Gospel Flower and explores the role of women in church leadership. Lisa Fortunato, who leads a congregation in Boston, invites us to consider how minority communities such as Latinos are made to feel by well-meant inclusion practices. Bradley Hauff, who leads a congregation in Philadelphia, explains how Native American theology can enrich our understanding of leadership. Author and teacher Eric Law offers suggestions for creating and sustaining relevant communities. Isaiah Brokenleg, a theology student, invites us to more thoughtfully and reverently consider our differences and the power of listening.

What’s exciting about TREC is that part of its commission is to “gather information and ideas from congregations, dioceses and provinces, and other interested individuals and organizations, including those not often heard from; engage other resources to provide information and guidance, and … invite all these constituencies to be joined in prayer as they engage in this common work of discernment.” Taking part in these ChurchNext courses is one way to engage in this process. (See our earlier blog post here.)

Here are links to all three courses 1) Reimagining Church Leadership, 2) Mission and Leadership, 3) Culture and Leadership

All who are interested in church leadership or in the Episcopal Church will find much of interest and use in these courses. Click here for more information or to register.

The Big Class with Cornel West: “Called to Common Good: Economic Inequality and What Christians Can Do About It”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Cornel West to Teach Free, Online Course

“CALLED TO COMMON GOOD:

ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND WHAT CHRISTIANS CAN DO ABOUT IT”


Open to anyone in the world between January 11-21

December 29, 2014, BLOOMFIELD  HILLS, MI – Cornel West, prominent intellectual, author, and cultural critic, will teach an online course on economic inequality that is open to all, from January 11-21.  This is an opportunity to learn about one of the most pervasive problems in the U.S. from one of the most thought-provoking teachers of our time.west

 

The online course derives from the Trinity Institute’s 2015 “Creating Common Good” conference on economic inequality and is offered through ChurchNext, a leader in online Christian education. The class, a series of video lectures and discussions, can be taken anytime between January 11-21. No special software is required. It will take an average learner about 45 minutes to complete. Registration is free and open worldwide beginning today. (Click here for more information or to register.)

 

Dr. Cornel West has often spoken out for justice and equality, specifically what American Christians are called to do about it; the Trinity Institute, a program of Trinity Wall Street, is an annual conference, now in its 44th year, aimed at gathering clerics and intellectuals to discuss matters of deep significance. The upcoming 2015 conference focuses on the often-overwhelming issue of economic inequality. (Click here for more information on the Trinity Institute.)

 

Throughout Called to Common Good, participants are encouraged to think about and discuss economic injustice and moral responsibility. Dr. West explores the problem of inequality, notions of public and private justice, and how communities can effect change. He contends that “no matter how extreme inequalities are, we’ve always got a common humanity,” which is why, he adds, “I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” During the class, representatives from Trinity Institute will be on hand to respond to discussions.

 

Online learning hub ChurchNext has partnered with Trinity Institute to present Dr. West’s course as well as four other previously-released courses taught by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, educational advocate Nicole Baker Fulgham, evangelical blogger Rachel Held Evans, and Julio Murray, Episcopal bishop of Panama.

 

Called to Common Good is a worldwide online learning course for all who are interested in social justice and the Christian faith and is free, thanks to the support of Trinity Institute, The Episcopal Church, and Forward Movement.

 

Trinity Institute is an annual conference, now in its 44th year, that equips clergy and laypersons for imaginative and catalytic leadership. The conference is sponsored by Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal parish in New York City. Trinity Institute takes place at Trinity Church in New York City and is streamed at Partner Sites (which are often churches and seminaries) throughout the world. For more information, visit https://www.trinitywallstreet.org/trinity-institute/2015/what’s-ti2015

 

ChurchNext creates online Christian learning experiences that shape disciples. Along with our partners we are devoted to helping people grow in their Christian faith, improve their lives, and better the world. Learn more at http://churchnext.tv

 

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.

 

Announcing a New Track: Exploring the Book of Common Prayer

BCPThis Sunday marks our eighth and final installation of our series on the Book of Common Prayer. And now, subscribers are able to take all eight courses in what we call a ‘Track.’ Click here to find out more.

Tracks allow students to journey through a specific subject at their own pace, on their own time, and to be guided through a specific subject of interest.  Other Tracks include: Exploring the Gospels, Living with the Questions, and Managing God’s Money to name a few.

This Sunday we’ll officially launch ‘Singing the Prayer Book with Milner Seifert.’ 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.