Category : Adult Education

(Anglican Diocese of SC) Developing a Diocesan Ministry Strategy

This past month, Bishop Edgar changed the way we, as a diocese, provide ministry support, moving from staffing certain positions full-time to working with Canons who are “in the trenches” serving in a church. This “seemed to me a strategic way for our diocese to move forward,” said the Bishop. “Compared to full-time diocesan ministry staff, Canons are more cost-effective, increase cooperation between parishes and the diocese, and allow us to focus on a greater number of potential ministry emphases.”

While his plan was to fade out the full-time positions over time, the financial uncertainty introduced by the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision, led him to move that time-frame forward.

As a result, both Dave Wright, our Diocesan Coordinator for Youth Ministry,, and Peter Rothermel our Coordinator for Faith Formation, are stepping down from their positions.

“I am grateful for the years of service in the areas of Student Ministry and Faith Formation that Dave Wright and Peter Rothermel, respectively, have offered the diocese,” said Bishop Edgar. “Both are good and godly men who have advanced those ministry areas across the diocese during their tenures. I, together with the whole diocese, am grateful for their work.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Youth Ministry

([London] Times) Andrew Atherstone–The Alpha Course will continue rebranding Christianity

The Christian faith always has direct social implications. It is not a privatised religion but overflows into practical action and community transformation. This is seen clearly in the Alpha movement, which has been putting on courses for 45 years. Alpha is a global phenomenon, one of the leading brands in Christian evangelisation, created at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in central London. More than 28 million people have attended the course worldwide, nearly five million in the UK, and many have become Christians as a result. Alpha’s pioneer, the former barrister Nicky Gumbel, has won plaudits as a Billy Graham for the modern age.

Alpha’s ambition, expressed in its famous catchphrase, is to see not only “lives changed” but also “society transformed”. Alpha has matured over three decades, with frequent revision of Gumbel’s books and films, and this emphasis has become increasingly explicit. For example, he suggests that to pray “Your Kingdom Come” in the Lord’s Prayer is to pray for the nation to be transformed in the areas of politics, economics, social justice, crime and education. Drawing lessons from church history, he praises John Wesley, the father of Methodism, as not only a preacher by also “a prophet of social righteousness”. Gumbel’s other heroes include campaigners such as William Wilberforce, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Questions of Life, the core Alpha text, has sold more than 1.7 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 40 languages. Recent editions reveal a great leap forward in the maturing of Gumbel’s social theology. “We experience the Holy Spirit not just so that we have a warm feeling in our hearts,” he declares, “but so that we go out and make a difference to our world.” Another of his popular paperbacks, The Heart of Revival, was published in the late 1990s, when many churches were excitedly looking for evidence of “revival”. Gumbel wrote: “True and lasting revival changes not only human hearts but also communities and institutions. Love for God and love for neighbour go hand in hand.”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Adult Education, Atonement, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology

John Donne–Christmas was and is Much More

Twas much,
that man was
made like God before,
But that God should
be like man
much more

–John Donne (1572-1631)

Posted in Adult Education, Christmas, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Theology

Kendall Harmon takes a new position at Holy Cross, Sullivans, Island, South Carolina

I appreciate your prayers. The parish website is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

(ABC Aus.) Michael Jensen–Sydney’s almost unnoticed Archbishop-elect: The challenges facing Kanishka Raffel and the Anglican church

He must lead his churches, then, in a concerted effort in prayer and repentance. There can be no priority higher than this. It would be a grave mistake to put evangelism above this, since evangelism is powerfully effective when there is evidence that people really live as if the gospel is true. In the past, we’ve been too triumphalist, too presumptive. The grace of our message has not always been matched by the grace of our welcome.

Kanishka must lead them in a return to the Word of God. Martin Luther once said, with typical exaggeration, “the ears alone are the organ of the Christian”. The Christian church is a listening church. It is found wherever the Word of God is preached. Where Jesus is declared to be Lord, and where people gather to hear it, there you find the Spirit of God active — not only there, but certainly there. When the people of God are seeking the voice of God in the pages of the Bible — when they hear themselves addressed by him from above — then there is hope.

The Archbishop must encourage us to be local communities of loving welcome. The “action”, as it were, is not in the bishop’s office or in committee rooms. The faith is not a matter of reports by theologians. It lives in the congregations that gather Sunday by Sunday, worshipping God and hearing him address them. Archbishop-elect Kanishka has written of a visit he made while holidaying to a small congregation, unimpressive by normal standards and few in number. And yet, he wrote later that he saw there “the stunning beauty of the gathered people of God”. It is my experience that people who are you might think the least likely to find a spiritual home in an Anglican Church in Sydney do so when they find that the hospitality they experience is for real.

But there must also be a courageous and prophetic engagement with post-Christian culture. The great Swiss theologian Karl Barth once said that sermons should be written with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. The Bible gives us eyes to see what is really in the newspaper. But it is also the case that news may help us to see better what is in the Bible. The mistake that many American evangelicals have made is to imagine that political and cultural means are the way to pursue or to defend the kingdom of God — mostly in alignment with the political right. That is a fool’s errand. It leads to an idolatry of political power, as was seen the Trump’s presidency. It shows no faith in the ultimate Lordship of Jesus, who is the church’s only Lord.

But neither should the church simply follow the spirit of the age. Its calling is not to provide a chaplaincy to contemporary narcissism. It finds laughable talk of “getting with the times” or “history being on our side”. It does not pursue relevance, as if that were anything worthwhile. It outlasted Rome: it will surely outlast Atlassian.

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Posted in Adult Education, Anglican Church of Australia, Australia / NZ, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Andrew O’Dell–Two Ways to Plumb the Depths of the Ten Commandments

I will never forget the first time the Ten Commandments became more to me than mere “words on a stone tablet.” I was attending a church that encouraged the use of a little prayer journal produced by the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer. Within that journal was a section entitled “A Method of Self Examination Using The Ten Commandments.” Beneath each of the Ten Commandments was a list of several items designed to take the reader deeper into the heart of each commandment. Under the first commandment, “Thou shalt have none other gods but me” (a commandment that, up to that point, I felt I had “aced”) was this statement, “Hint: What do I think about when I first awaken each morning?” I read that statement and thought to myself, “Uh-oh! This isn’t going to go well…” I became keenly aware in that moment that there were (and still are) all sorts of things I’d be thinking about when I first awoke each morning, but was God at the top of the list? Ouch. And thus began the adventure of going deeper into the commandments. With this simple resource, the Holy Spirit began to take me deeper into the heart of God and into an ever-growing awareness of my desperate need for him. It’s as if the psalmist wrote Psalm 19:12 to express our need for God’s Commandments to guide us on this journey: “But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.”

Over the years, I have continued to use this little prayer journal and have made it my habit to meditate on one commandment a day, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal those places in my heart that need repentance, healing, and change. I have updated the journal several times, and we provide a copy to each participant of our Foundations class when I teach the session on Bible reading and prayer. If you would like a copy for your own devotions, you can pick one up in the church office. Or, if you’d simply like to print a copy of the section “A Method of Self Examination Using The Ten Commandments,” you can download a copy (at the link provided)….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Theology, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Teaching on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for Prince George Winyah in South Carolina

The teaching starts about 3:55 in.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, --Book of Common Prayer, Adult Education, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings

Rob Sturdy’s Presentation on the 1549 Book of Common Prayer for Prince George Winyah in South Carolina

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Book of Common Prayer, Adult Education, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

Theological Conversations with Kendall Harmon: The Rev. Brian McGreevy

Enjoy the whole thing and be on the watch for a section on the theology of CS Lewis.

Posted in * South Carolina, Adult Education, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

Theological Conversations with Kendall Harmon: The Rev. Canon Dr. Ashley Null

Take the time to enjoy the whole thing, especially the section on the four comfortable words and the theology of Thomas Cranmer.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Book of Common Prayer, Adult Education, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Conversation with [geochemist and parish priest] Greg Snyder on Faith, Science, Wonder and the Patience of God

Listen to it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(CSP) Matthew Rivers teaches on Galatians 5–‘Fruit of the Spirit | Stories of Hope–Peace’

Watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Theology: Scripture

A Kendall Harmon Teaching on Galatians 5–The fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Please note there is also an audio only version available to listen to or download there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings

A Kendall Harmon Teaching on Galatians 5–The fruit of the Spirit: Love

Please note there is also an audio only version available to listen to or download there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Scripture

Monday Morning food for Thought–It All Ends in Praise – Psalm 150 Meditation by Tim Keller

Posted in Adult Education, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Theology: Scripture

Preparing for Pentecost: Reflections on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit with Bishop Mark Lawrence

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

(Christ St. Paul’s) Father Juan Rivera–Overcoming Satan’s Tactics

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Theology: Scripture

Your Prayers Appreciated for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Convention Later this week

Q. You mentioned the precarious jobs and low wages. An example of that is a much praised film in the UK, titled “Sorry We Missed You”, a story about a man who starts working as a deliveryman in one of the new businesses such as Amazon, Uber… What ‘curses’ come with these new types of jobs linked to mobile phone ‘apps’ and the new ‘needs’ of costumers to have everything as fast and as cheap as possible.

A. Yes, it has been very interesting in the last decade that the combination of the new technologies that developed, especially smartphone apps, and that high unemployment at the beginning of the decade following the financial crisis, created the perfect conditions for what we call the ‘gig economy’ to emerge.

This form of capitalism, if you like, has developed where we have a cultural individualism and a market economy; but the consumer’s choice and freedom are becoming the most important thing of all. So we have 24/7 shopping, and somehow, we accept the ‘curse’ zero-hours contracts. And people who have to deliver this service are people we don’t really see, that are kind of invisible and anonymous. They are working having very anti-social hours and often not given much advance warning, only one day or two before they are told when they can work. This makes the worker in this ‘gig economy’… Well, it is a new kind of oppression, to be honest.

The loss of rights, the loss of freedom, especially for family relationships which came out in the film, is a very high price to pay for this new kind of consumerism – the new way we do buying and selling. So yes, it is something we should look out very critically.

Read it all and follow the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

Rob Sturdy’s 4 Talks from the 2020 Anglican Diocese of SC Men’s Conference are available by audio

Simply go here and find the big red box with the header “Listen” and underneath is the link for this year’s presentations.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Men, Parish Ministry

Greg Lancaster of St Philip’s Charleston–Men’s Conference: Building God’s Kingdom

Several hundred men from St. Philip’s, churches across the state, and as far away as Kenya attended the Christian Men’s Conference at Camp St. Christopher February 21-23. I was blessed to be among them. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Father’s Blessing,” and the goal was for the weekend to be “a time of blessing for all men, young and old, in order that all men may thus be transformed and more fully equipped to build God’s kingdom, man to man.” Anglican Chaplain to the Corps of Cadets at The Citadel Rob Sturdy, looking like an apostle with his full beard and long, bushy hair, brought a passionate and well researched message over four sessions. Rob talked about the cultural view of masculinity being precarious: hard to earn and easy to lose versus the biblical view of masculinity being a gift from God. He talked about God being present, proud, and pleased with his son, Jesus, when he was baptized by John and how this blessing is extended to each of us just because we belong to him.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Men, Parish Ministry

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Not a Convention Delegate? Come anyway – for the Workshops! Join us on Friday March 13:

Morning Mini Conference on:
Creating a Spiritual Legacy: Your Game Plan from Success to Significance

Afternoon Workshops on:

Church Revitalization • Stewardship • Global Partnerships • Church Planting • The New ACNA Prayerbook • Small Church, Big Heart, Big God • Hispanic Ministry • Prayer

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Saint Philip’s, Charleston) Denise C. Pickford–Recipe for a Christian Life: Reflections on Canon J.John’s Sermon

I love to cook. Browsing through recipes and then preparing them for my family and friends is one of my favorite things to do. To me, I am showing my love for them by taking the time to follow each step and make the preparations for a wonderful meal as my gift to them––and, of course, when my children were younger, to ensure their proper physical growth and health.

Is preparing nourishment in the form of food for our bodies any different from being nourished spiritually? We are not just a physical body; we have a spiritual body that must be fed as well. Without food and water, we would die. Without feeding our spiritual bodies or souls, we would become empty and begin searching for, in many instances, the wrong things to feed our hunger, which could never be satisfied with just earthly things. God wants to nourish our souls so that we may have the proper spiritual growth and health.

As I sat listening to Canon J.John on Sunday, his sermon struck me as the perfect “recipe” for how to live a Christian life!

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

The Rev. Canon J. John Ali Lecture at Saint Philip’s, Charleston, SC, Yesterday

There are links for you to listen to it directly or to download it. You can read more about the event there.

Posted in * South Carolina, Adult Education, Church of England (CoE), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Natural Evangelism with Canon J. John
January 21, St. Philip’s Church, Charleston

The Anglican Leadership Institute once again invites you to a gathering to hear a gifted global leader speaking on an issue central to our Christian faith and witness. On Tuesday, January 21st. at St. Philip’s Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston, Canon J. John of England will speak on Natural Evangelism: The practice of praying, caring and sharing. Canon John, originally from Greece, has for years been a noted author, speaker, and media personality in the U.K. This is one of his first American visits. His book Ten on the Ten Commandments has been used by many study groups here in Charleston and elsewhere. It is a unique contemporary approach to a classical subject.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

Kendall Harmon’s recent Teachings on Prayer at the Saint Philip’s, Charleston, Parish Retreat

You can find the links to all four offerings here, available either as a download or to listen directly.

Posted in * By Kendall, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings, Spirituality/Prayer

Leading the Saint Philip’s Parish Retreat Today Through Sunday

You can see the schedule in the link provided; I would apreciate your prayers, KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

(LR) Pastors of Larger Churches More Likely to Regularly Counsel and Disciple Members

Meetings often fill the calendars of office workers, but pastors say their days are often full of meetings as well.

A survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research asked 1,000 Protestant pastors if they regularly have any of six types of meetings. Virtually every pastor (99%) says they regularly have at least one of those work-related meetings.

“Churches are people, and church ministry is people ministry,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “It is not surprising that pastors participate in many meetings, but the nature of those meetings varies.”

Nine in 10 pastors (90%) say they regularly meet to counsel church members.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Adult Education, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Church Times) Enquirers’ courses are attended mainly by churchgoers, statistics suggest

One third of Church of England churches run enquiry and “Christian basics” courses and two-thirds of these report that their courses are attended mainly by people who already go to church, new statistics suggest.

The figures have been collated for the first time at Church House, Westminster, in the Statistics for Mission 2018 report, published by the C of E’s Research and Statistics department.

Of the 13,003 churches that responded to this question, 34 per cent reported that they ran such courses (4400 churches). Of this group, 28 per cent ran courses that they had designed themselves; 28 per cent ran Alpha; 17 per cent ran the Pilgrim course; nine per cent ran Christianity Explored; and 30 per cent ran other courses, including Lent and confirmation classes.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) said that they were mainly attended by people who already attended church regularly. Ten per cent said that they were mainly attended by people who did not already attend regularly, and 19 per cent that they had equal numbers of church-goers and non-church-goers.

The Experiences of Ministry survey of 2011, completed by 2916 members of the clergy, found “an important association between the running of nurture courses and both forms of growth [spiritual and numerical]; growth is stronger when nurture courses are more frequently run.” Research by Dr Stephen Hunt published in 2001 found that 77 per cent of Alpha attendees were already churchgoers, although his sample size was small.

Read it all.

Posted in Adult Education, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Washington Post) Jamie Aten–How A Stephen Curry produced documentary explores forgiveness in the 2015 Charleston church shooting

Q: What first drew you to the “Emanuel” project?

A: I had just gotten married in June 2015, and I was on my honeymoon in New York. I walked into the bedroom, and my wife was crying. She told me nine people had been shot in their Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.

Then she looked at me and said, “You don’t understand, they’re forgiving him. The family members are forgiving the murderer.” I remember looking at her and saying, “I hope whoever tells that story doesn’t skip that part.” It was that moment for me — encountering this radical, scandalous forgiveness and love for the murderer — that drew me into the story. I wanted the world to know that part of the story.

Q: What was different in this story?

A: It was that they loved him. It was this moment when (survivor) Felicia Sanders said something to him that really changed me: “We enjoyed you.”

When I go out and talk about the film, I’m not just talking about them forgiving him because they wanted to be emotionally free from him. I’m talking about a kind of love you rarely see. Their love for the shooter was a love that said, “I will bear the full weight of the wrong,” which is the highest kind of love — a love for your enemy.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Adult Education, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Violence

Remembering Especially the Charleston 9 who died 4 years ago today in the Mother Emanuel Church Shooting

Posted in * South Carolina, Adult Education, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Violence