Monday, January 01, 2018

Ventures in Christian Discipleship 2018

Course Schedule
Empowering Small Congregations

Jan. 20, 2018, 9am-Noon CST
Presenter: Jim Tomlinson, Retired Church of the Brethren Pastor, District Executive, Teacher
Subject: Congregation in Mission
Congregational life provides settings for persons in community to flourish in their faith. What are the dynamics to allow this to happen? What are the impediments that get in the way of this flourishing? Where can congregations go to find resources for mission? What are the “Brethren” ideas of congregational life that draw persons? What may keep them away? What are the Biblical images that help us focus on mission? How do they encourage mission? These questions can be a spring board for drawing us into a lively discussion. We will work on the concepts of “settler” verses “frontier” churches and explore how these concepts impact congregational life and mission.
Feb. 10, 2018, 9am-Noon CST
Presenter: Carol Scheppard, 2017 Moderator of Church of the Brethren and Professor at Bridgewater College 
Subject: How the Bible Came to be the Bible
The Christian Bible is a living document with a rich and spirited history. Our course will trace the Bible’s development from its early beginnings as a loose collection of shared texts and resources to its formal adoption as canon at the ecumenical councils of the late 4th century AD. We will observe the way the Christian scriptures merged with the developing Hebrew canon and will follow its on-going transformation through the Latin Vulgate to the Luther Bible and beyond.
Mar. 17, 2018, 9am-Noon CST
Presenter: Bobbi Dykema, Pastor an Professor serving in the Pacific Northwest District of the Church of the Brethren 
Subject: Revitalizing Worship through the Arts 
Imagine a worship service where any or all of the pieces—from the call to worship to the benediction— contained new surprises: words, images, sounds, and experiences that would engage the scripture and the congregation, all ages, in new ways. Now imagine these exciting new ways of being church happening in your congregation! Creativity is a God-given birthright to all of God’s children, and scripture calls us to bring our best before the Lord. The challenge of crafting innovative worship doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money, just joyful open hearts. Join us to learn how!
Apr. 14, 2018, 9am-Noon CST
Presenter: Joe Detrick, Retired District Executive Minister in the Church of the Brethren 
Subject: Congregations Nurturing a Culture of Call: Why It Matters 
This interactive course will focus on the distinctive role congregation’s play in the calling and nurturing of ministerial leadership. We will hear testimonies of those who have answered the call – from biblical times to the present, and examples of congregations who have excelled in creating a climate for calling. We will examine the new Ministerial Leadership (2014) paper, highlighting various components of “discerning the call” toward credentialed ministry. We will identify 10 practical ways congregations and districts can partner in the calling, training, and sustaining qualified ministerial leaders for the local, district, and national ministry needs. 
All courses available online and available for .3 CEUs. Preregister at These courses are open to everyone and at no cost. However, if you desire CEUs, a $10 donation is suggested.