ChurchNext For Groups

This week, we’re excited to roll out nine more courses in our For Groups format:

Finding God in Divorce with Carolyne Callhands
Being Single, Staying Faithful with Beth Knobbe
How to Live a Spirit-Filled Life with Alberto Cutie
Grieving Well with Andrew Gerns
Developing Christian Patience with Jeff Bullock
Introduction to Advent with Tim Schenck
Introduction to Epiphany with Sharon Pearson
Introduction to Lent with Maggi Dawn
Who Is Jesus? with Jason Fout
Jesus at 12 with Chris Stepien

Many of these are particularly suited for small group use: Grieving Well, with Andrew Gerns, is an ideal course around which to gather a small group of folks who have lost a loved one. Many parishes have support or ministry groups for widows or widowers, or parents who have lost children. Taking this course together, as part of a healthy journey through the grieving process, can offer dedicated, safe space and time to wrestle with questions, share wisdom, and offer the mutually-beneficial gift of holy presence with one another.

Beth Knobbe’s thoughtful and joyful approach to the single life, Being Single, Staying Faithful, is another course well-suited to small group gatherings. Those who live alone, from the very young to the very old, can benefit from sharing time together; the course offers a lot of wisdom simply on becoming comfortable being alone — wisdom that even those in relationships can use. Beth’s lectures help explore what it means to be alone without being lonely, and how aloneness can be a very special time in one’s life, even a special call from God.

Finding God in Divorce, with Carolyne Call, is another wonderful resource for a group of folks navigating a challenging time, one with which the themes of the above two courses also dovetail: Divorce is a time of grief, a time of (re)learning how to be alone; it’s also a time many people find a great need for the support of not only those who’ve “been there” but also those in their faith communities. Finding God in Divorce helps find the gifts and the redemption in what might feel like a very dark and discouraging time.

We at ChurchNext are glad to be able to offer resources like these for creating intimate, life-giving, and Spirit-filled communities, and we hope that these latest For Groups courses help you minister even more intentionally to particular groups within your congregation.

Living A Spirit-Filled Life with Fr. Albert Cutie Touches Hearts

“Fr. Albert hits another home run!” ~Jim F.cutie

“I love his class!”  ~Sara M.

“The course was great. I learned a great deal, mostly about myself. Thank you!” ~Nancy F.

We are thrilled once again with the richness, wisdom, and inspiration of The Big Class, this time taught by Father Albert Cutie on how to make the Holy Spirit part of your everyday life.  Nearly 1,000 people from 21 countries took the course. 14% of those who answered our survey said the course had a major impact on their spiritual lives, and countless snippets of profound insight and grace arose during the discussions:

  • In response to a question about how the Holy Spirit helps us become God’s new Temple, one participant wrote, “We are the place where people are reconciled to God and to each other. It reminds me of the way Jesus connected the gift of the Holy Spirit with the power and responsibility of forgiving sins. In our lives, we can live that powerful promise of forgiveness. We can model the possibility of repentance, of returning to God and knowing that we will be received. We can be icons and signs of reconciliation/healing. We can live in our lives what used to be done in the Temple. In this way of living, heaven and earth touch, and we get a glimpse of God.”
  • In response to a question about what “living in community means to you,” one respondent wrote, “Living in community is so much more than church to me. It means doing my part, wherever I am and allowing others to do theirs. If I am a part of the Body of Christ, I am that wherever I am. I can’t very well leave that part of me at home when I go to the grocery store.”
  • A question about how to define “openness to the Holy Spirit” yielded this comment: “Openness means removing the barriers that we put in place to keep God out because we don’t want to relinquish control.” And another participant wrote, “Openness to me is a matter of mindset — an intentional placing of one’s self on the potter’s wheel and a submission to being formed. In this crazy modern life, the problem is not one of understanding so much as distraction.”

We are so grateful to be able to provide these courses to a worldwide audience for free. A huge thank you to our sponsors, Bexley Seabury, The Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Diocese of Southeast FloridaLogos Bible Software, and Forward Movement.

Now that the worldwide class is complete, the course is open to all for $10 or $15/month for individual subscribers – or if your congregation is a subscriber, you may now add it to your congregation’s online school. Click here for more information or to register for Living a Spirit-Filled Life.

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.