Almost ten years ago, Columbia Theological Seminary inaugurated a new online journal, @ this point: theological investigations in church and culture. The goal of the journal was straightforward: to model (and encourage) theological conversation among Christian laity on important topics of the day and, therein, help shape a more theologically literate church. The format, too, was straightforward: invite a scholar to write a lead essay on an assigned topic, ask three other scholars to write responses to the lead essay, and then have the lead essayist write a reply to the responses. The back-and-forth is intended not to foreclose conversation or thought but to open them up; as such we ask the scholars to end with questions, not criticisms and to highlight new ideas rather than simply assessing old ones. And we strongly encourage our writers to be brief but thoughtful and to avoid academic jargon where possible. “Think of your audience as the people sitting in the pews with you,” we tell them. “They may have college degrees, but those degrees aren’t likely to be in religion or philosophy. So think about the engineer or the schoolteacher in your midst.” Continue reading
After Easter—Spring and Summer in the Garden! Wondering what to do with kids and adults in Ordinary time? Go outside!!! Our Christian Education team invited adults’ and children’s classes to come out to the Sweetwater Garden behind our church to make a Peace Garden. This garden is part of the Wylde Center neighborhood gardens. We enlisted folks who could help us but were not the usual teachers: a person who volunteered in the garden, another to build benches out of recycled wood, an artist to help paint the benches and the peace pole we erected as well as a bird bath that we decorated with mosaic tiles. Continue reading
Dana Waters is a current Masters of Divinity Student at Columbia Theological Seminary. He also serves in youth ministry. This lesson plan speaks to the conversation we are having in the Facebook group today on Christian Education beyond the walls of the church.
I created this lesson plan after I realized that everyone in my youth group had learned about climate change at school and many other places, but it had never been discussed at church– not even once. How could this be? Continue reading