Thursday, January 31, 2013

Envisioning Year D related D.Min. projects

I mentioned a while back that the new D.Min. cohort is forming at Dubuque Seminary just now. I'm not leading this cohort, and project proposals for this group will be some three years off yet. Nevertheless, I can well imagine any number of D.Min. projects that would involve the implementation of Year D.

E.g., can you imagine administering Bible Content exams to a congregation before and after using Year D texts for a year of worship planning, preaching, and Bible Study? What might be the impact on biblical literacy? Can you imagine designing and administering a fresh Bible content exam that ensures or provides greater exposure to Year D texts? Or can you imagine developing the first Sunday school curriculum (whether focussed on a particular age group or intergenerational) based on Year D texts? That would be cool. Can you imagine a hymn-focussed project aimed at unearthing old hymn texts that key off these passages? My hunch is they would likely date from times when these texts were in favor and had more currency in the lingua franca of generations passed. What about coordinating a presbytery or conference-wide study of multiple congregations using Year D? Thinking ever farther afield, imagine a project that would consider the use of Year D in international congregations, something that would reflect the evident interest of users of Year D in far-flung reaches of the global church.

Who knows? Perhaps even those currently in D.Min. programs, wherever they may be, if they are searching for a project idea, may wish to consider something along these lines. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bear in mind, the opposite of absolutism is relativism

At least that is the case when one is not engaged in blatant psychological projection, which is clearly the case in the present instance, and has arguably been the case for the last four years. By the way, I find it interesting to find this view expressed at Politico. But perhaps even they are waking up to the incessant ringing of the fire alarm? ... Nah. Not likely. It is a guest opinion piece, after all. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why we teach worship

Regardless of where you sit politically, anyone who knows the first thing about worship (HINT: that it is directed to God) must admit that the author of this article has a point, and it strongly illustrates why we teach worship, and why the church has traditionally insisted that people who lead public prayer — whether on a small, large, or globally televised scale — should be trained and should have some basic idea of what they are doing. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

You know that news reel?

Well, look what just surfaced: this article on one of our D.Min. candidates. The Rev. Cheyanna Losey and the United Church of Woodhull, IL have published a book of members' testimonies which has, in turn, fostered a discernible and measurable enhancement of congregational fellowship. It has been a joy to read Cheyanna's work this last year. Hers is an inspired project, one that will be worthy of study by other pastors and of replication by any number of congregations.

Meanwhile, Dubuque Seminary is a great place for pastors to do a D.Min. degree, and a new cohort is forming now: "Leading God's People: Encouraging and Equipping the Chosen Exiles of the 21st Century." My colleague Dr. Phil Jamieson will be joined by Dr. David Rohrer in leading this cohort. 

Loyal dogs

I realize I assigned Numbers 14 to the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and that event has come and gone, but this article puts me in mind of the loyalty of Caleb [literally, "loyal dog," though at an even deeper level, "all heart"] and the church's need for a heavy dose of, yes, dogged loyalty in this day and age. No, it's not a pun; it lies at the very root of the word. It also puts me in mind of a sermon I preached last year entitled, "Consider the Dogs" (Luke 16:19-31). The payoff quote in the article: "Canine loyalty extends beyond humans." No kidding. The church could stand to learn a lot from the dogs.

Introducing the AppleCrossMusic blog (bumped)

The time has come to transplant various recent musical posts into a separate platform. These are sufficiently distinct from the purpose of The Year D Project that continuing to discuss them here will only congest the current site with matter of a tangential relation. Thus, I am reposting recent entries at AppleCrossMusic. You are welcome to come for a visit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Your know a great headline

... when the author of the article, in this case Richard Fernandez, knows he doesn't even have to bother to explain it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Music for the Pastor's Study, Part XXV: Tim Slemmons

Yes, that would be me. For the most part, I'm redirecting my musical and poetic thoughts over to the AppleCrossMusic blog, but since the theme of this interminable series has been the pastor's study, rather than the sanctuary itself, I thought I would mention the fact that a few of my own (mostly instrumental) tracks set what I think is a contemplative mood conducive to the mulling and brooding of the exegetical and sermon writing process. See the widget of MP3 samples at the sidebar.

P.S. After a quick recount, it looks like Ant Phillips' latest was Part XXIV of this series.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How do great books come about?

Well, from an inspired vision that takes incipient shape in a great book proposal. Enter my friend and colleague, Gary Neal Hansen. Gary's vision for a book on Christian community has been selected by Chad R. Allen of Baker Academic to be the focus of his blog-based coaching into a winning book proposal. I've mentioned Gary's work here before, and his popular book on prayer entitled, Kneeling with Giants. Well done, Gary. It looks like we have another major contribution in the making.

A glimpse of the tip of the biblical literacy iceberg

This is an interesting survey from The Christian Post regarding the verses of scripture that people identify as their favorites. It's just a top ten list, so it barely scratches the surface of scripture, but it does provide a glimpse of what people find important, and not least what they find comforting, encouraging, and instructive in response to rampant manifestations of evil in the culture. No. 6, you will note, is retrieved in Year D, but does not appear in the RCL. No. 7, popular as it is, seems to fall outside the bounds of all four years.