Adult Enrichment in 2013

I have the privilege of developing adult educational opportunities at Naples United Church of Christ.  These holistic growth opportunities, along with our musical enrichment offerings, are open to our congregation and to the community.  The following brochure is a second annual brochure covering many of the events that will occur between Advent 2012 and Pentecost 2013 (for more, read about and view the 2012 edition). I welcome your feedback.  Also, please share your congregation's adult Read More …

Marks of Transformed Christians

Gordon MacDonald, chancellor of Denver Seminary, recently shared a list of twelve outward signs that an individual follower of Jesus is maturing or being transformed (Leadership Journal, Summer 2012, p.31-34): Has an undiluted devotion to Jesus Pursues a biblically informed view of the world Is intentional and disciplined in seeking God's direction Worships, and has a spirit of continuous repentance Builds healthy, reciprocal human relationships Knows how to engage the larger Read More …

Rethinking Teaching Online

Margarita A. Mooney, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Faculty Fellow in the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina, recently blogged about her experience with rethinking how best to teach online.  She writes: . . . I have flipped the order in which I present material to students and it definitely captured their attention better than before. I used to assign heavy readings, give a lecture, and then give them a Read More …

Are You Ready?

While some people are more adventurous than others, most spend the majority of their time and energy in the "everydayness" that comprises most of life.  In youth, adventure means setting aside all that is to fully be something and/or somewhere else.  As people age adventure becomes, quite frankly, less and less adventurous.  Big plans tend to come in the form of vacations or temporary variations from the norm. In short, people become increasingly risk averse. So What? Regardless of the plans Read More …

Future Church – More About Following

Church v.2020 - Ten Changes: #8 More About Following – Less About Membership When compared with the American church of 2012, the future church (v.2020) will focus more on following and less on membership.  This shift places the emphasis on following the way of Jesus rather than being a faithful member of a local church.  Toward this end, likely changes include: An approach to belonging and deepening individual's connection to the faith community that values assimilation into a community Read More …

What’s My Grade?

As the semester draws to a close, students are increasingly interested in grades.  I have received several inquiries about grades, and expect to hear many more this week. So What? Most of those reading this blog are not currently pursuing a degree or enrolled in any type of educational pursuit for which they will earn a grade.  We are, however, all heading toward the end of another year. Take a few minutes and grade yourself on 2011: How faithfully have you sought to pursue Read More …

Adult Enrichment in 2012

One of my many roles during this season in life is as Director of Adult Education at Naples United Church of Christ.  The document below is my first attempt at what I intend to become an annual brochure.  The 2012 edition features events in January, February and March.  I welcome your feedback (if you happen to be in Southwest Florida, I hope you will join us for one or more of these events). Open publication - Free publishing - More adult Read More …

Beyond Survival: A Way Forward for Denominations

Eric Van Meter's recent commentary, "Can Our Denomination Overcome its Fear of Failure?," considers the decades old struggle facing mainline denominations: reversing the trend of declining membership.  Van Meter writes, "We United Methodists have launched one initiative after another in the past four decades, only to watch our churches decline in every measurable category, except average age." Well aware of the many initiatives, past and present, undertaken by his denomination and the Read More …

Review of Introducing the Practice of Ministry

Meet the Author Kathleen A. Cahalan is an associate professor of theology at St. John's University School of Theology-Seminary, which is a Catholic and Benedictine school that educates both ordination candidates and lay ecclesiastical ministers.  Previously, she taught at Christian Theological Seminary and as an evaluation coordinator for the religion division of the Lilly Endowment.  Cahalan is the author of three books:  Introducing the Practice of Ministry (2010), Formed in the Image of Read More …

Review of Veneer

Meet the Authors Jason Locy is founder and Creative Director of FiveStone, a multidisciplinary design studio whose client list includes MTV, Chick-fil-A, Q, and Catalyst.  Timothy Willard is a full-time writer who earned a Master of Arts in Christian Thought from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.   Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society (2011), which they co-authored, is each author's first book. Book Basics Jason invited Tim to join his men's small group.  Based on three years Read More …