Introducing Romans, a Live Class with Jay Sidebotham Starts Tomorrow

jay sidebothamRegister now for Introducing Romans, a live online class with Jay Sidebotham. It starts tomorrow at 8 p.m. and lasts for an hour. It will meet for eight consecutive Wednesdays. This class supports the Good Book Club Epiphany reading initiative focusing on Paul’s letter to the Romans.

This class will offer an opportunity for Episcopalians to reflect on one of the books in the New Testament that has had the greatest impact on the church. The longest of Paul’s letters, Romans offers a sweeping vision of Paul’s theology, with a focus on grace that comes to all people. The letter includes rigorous recognition that we all contend with powers that bind us; that a new life of freedom is available in the good news of Jesus Christ. The letter to the Romans has had transformative influence on the church at critical moments in our history. It’s exciting to see what might happen to the Episcopal Church as we prayerfully reflect on its message this Epiphany season.

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We hope you will join the many students who have already signed up to read the Book of Romans with Jay. Please email if you have any questions.

Congregational subscribers and facilitators, please note: live online courses like this one will not work properly if you simply add them to your church’s school as you would add our pre-recorded classes. Your parishioners CAN, however, gain free access to the course due to your congregational membership. Please email or to learn how to give your parishioners free access to this course. The process is not difficult, and we will respond quickly to your email.

Image: Fragment of a fourth-century manuscript copy of the Letter to the Romans showing Romans 1:1-7. 




Just Launched: How to Play…Like God with Christine Sine

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We just launched How to Play…Like God with Christine Sine For Individuals and For Groups.

Although we think of play as an activity limited to children, Christine Sine argues that play characterizes healthy lives from infancy to adulthood. Play is an essential element in our mental and physical health — and, she argues, play allows Christians to connect with and imitate a playful God.

It can be hard to connect the notion of play with the same Alpha-and-Omega God who says things like, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of bondage. You shall have no other Gods before me” (Exodus 20:2). Yet Christine argues that God does play and that in playing, we can become closer to God. Adult play can be spiritual play: being with God in the moment and accepting God’s being with us in a way that would not have been possible otherwise. When we play, we surrender. The end result is not something we can craft.

This kind of play can happen on an individual level and on the level of a church community. For example, every year, The Washington National Cathedral holds a Seeing Deeper Week . In 2018, this week included a sound and light show, yoga in the nave, an indoor community-building carnival, and a “cosmic liturgy,” which the website describes as “a rave in the nave (but without the drugs).” This kind of creative, playful approach to liturgy is an example of spiritual play that might happen in groups. On an individual level, spiritual play can run the gamut from taking a nature walk with a child to praying according to the lectio divina model. We can reach the goal of freeing the mind and being joyfully present to the glory of God through many different methods of play.

We hope this class helps you to engage in play as a mental and spiritual gift — for adults and children alike. For a preview of the class, please click here.