By Lois Grove
McPherson (Kan.) College’s Ventures program is offering upcoming courses on the book of Chronicles and faith formation. Ventures in Christian Discipleship is an online program of the college, designed to equip church members with skills and understandings for faithful and dynamic Christian living, action, and leadership. All courses are free, but donations are welcome to help continue this effort. Registration information is available at www.mcpherson.edu/ventures.
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In an online course postponed from Nov. 11 last year, Ventures in Christian Discipleship will offer “The Book of Chronicles and the Church: Theology, Continuity, Innovation, and the Kingdom of God” presented by Steve Schweitzer, academic dean and professor at Bethany Theological Seminary. The course will be offered on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon (central time).
While the book of Kings explains why the people of Israel ended up in exile, the book of Chronicles was written after the exile, in the midst of significant cultural shifts, to provide a way forward. Participants will explore several central themes in the book and think together about how Chronicles might help the church to be faithful in the midst of cultural change.
“Beyond Sunday school: Transforming Faith Formation” will be offered on April 22, 9 a.m. to 12 noon (central time), taught by Rhonda Pittman-Gingrich, an ordained Church of the Brethren minister involved in a ministry of teaching, consulting, and writing. This course will challenge participants to engage in faith formation.
Sunday school is not obsolete, but given the reality of declining attendance patterns, it cannot be a stand-alone enterprise when it comes to nurturing the spiritual lives of our children, youth, or adults. Pittman-Gingrich will emphasize that we must create communities of practice that nurture and transform faith in holistic ways across the life span. Participants will explore various ways and resources to undergird a more holistic approach to faith formation, including lessons from scripture and the concept of spiritual styles.
—Lois Grove is a member of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board, and is active in Northern Plains District.