Just Launched — With Gladness: 5 Weeks of Practices for Disciples

The Rev. Christopher Martin

We have just launched our new Lenten curriculum: With Gladness: 5 Weeks of Holy Practices for Disciples For Individuals and For Groups This 5-week curriculum is based on Christopher Martin’s book With Gladness: Answering God’s Call in Our Everyday Lives (2021). Christopher is founder of The Restoration Project, whose goal is to restore individual lives and communities through seven core Christian practices. One of these practices is listening for God’s call, a practice that many of Christopher’s students have found difficult. Whom does God call? What kinds of things does God call us to do? How should we listen for God’s call? Many people today find the concept of God’s call confusing and difficult.

For this reason, Christopher has sought to teach new disciplines, using new language in relation to the concept of God’s call. In each section, he focuses on powerful words that help us center our ideas. He also introduces new spiritual practices, all relatively small, that build up to help us shift our approach to receiving God’s call. These practices build up to change our approach to everyday life and our understanding of how to move our lives in the direction to which God calls us.

This curriculum teaches these practices over the course of  20 lectures with Christopher Martin of about 5 minutes each, divided into five weeks. Each week covers a different set of practices.

  • Week One: The Work is Very Near You
  • Week Two: Look at Each Face
  • Week Three: Name Each Work
  • Week Four: Use Your Wounds
  • Week Five: Name Your Home

This curriculum is ideal for Lent, but it can be used at other times too — during Advent (with some consolidation) or during Epiphany, for example, or over the summer. In the For Individuals curriculum, participants can take this course at their own pace. Each section consists of several lessons, which include a short introduction, video lectures, self-assessments covering the lectures’ main points, and discussion questions. The For Groups curriculum is designed for groups to meet and study together. It includes a Facilitator’s Guide that allows anyone to moderate the course easily and a Participant’s Guide that includes discussion questions, summaries of the material, and suggestions for further research.

This 5-session course is priced at $79 for non-Congregational Subscribers and $39 for Congregational Subscribers (if you are a Congregational Subscriber contact us at hello@churchnext.tv for your coupon code).

We hope that this curriculum will help you and your congregation learn from Christopher how to listen to God’s call in your life, and how to shift your spiritual practices in ways that free you to answer it.

Live Class: Introducing Mark with Vicki Garvey Begins Thursday

As you may have already learned, ChurchNext will offer a FREE, live course called Introducing Mark with Vicki Garvey as a Good Book Club offering during Epiphany. We welcome participants from across the world, whether or not you are participating in the Good Book Club formally — it’s a great chance to learn more about Mark’s Gospel.

Vicki is a respected teacher and author and former Canon for Lifelong Education at the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. She has led workshops across the United States and internationally on Bible study, and we are very blessed to have her teaching this class. Vicki has already taught live courses on the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew. Her Gospel of Matthew class was so popular that participants went back and viewed recordings of her Gospel of John class! We are blessed to have another chance to work with her.

Here’s how it works: from January 7 through February 11, every Thursday night at 8 p.m. E.S.T., participants will click on a link to a Zoom classroom to listen to Vicki Garvey’s talks about Mark’s Gospel and to ask questions/participate in discussion. Course materials will be available on an online ChurchNext course. We will also post recordings of the class meetings on the course page, so don’t worry if you can’t attend every class meeting.

You can take this course with others from your congregation or on your own.

Sign up here, and we look forward to seeing you on January 7!