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Supporting laos ministry ...

with eLearning in Christian education

New Year combined newsletter

... to those who kindly take one or other of the two newsletters that go out a couple of times each month.  Plans, news, information, items for thanksgiving and prayer in a boxy newsbyte format - please use and pass on to others.

Yours in Christ,
Peter Nicholls

Over 450 people now receive the laos newsletter, which seeks in some way to help us to become better at thinking and acting Christianly in every corner of life.  And over 100 are interested enough in eLearning in Christian education to allow me to send them that newsletter twice a month.

It is always helpful to receive feedback.  Happily, the two or three emails I have had back each week have been positive and encouraging.  But constructive criticism is just as important to improvement - do feel free to email back on any matter.

There have been a couple of ‘guest writers’ of laos eReflections so far.  More are welcome - please let me know if you would like to contribute.  You might like to try one or two practice items, responding to something in the news or in your own or others’ lives, before we publish to the wider audience.

more on courses

We hope next autumn / fall to have enough people who have followed Life, Death and Christian Hope and are ready to take a course that will help them to minister more confidently in their communities: Being beside someone bereaved.   more >>>

This Spring, CCL courses will also be run over the  5 weeks of Lent, starting on Ash Wednesday (25.2.04).  Please consider joining yourself, or encourage others to.

The usual Spring 8-week events start on Tuesday 27th Jan.  Follow this link for further details and enrolment. 

Courses

Connected Community LearningPublicising / marketing courses is a constant challenge.  We are wanting to contact leaders of churches that are keen to help their members to grow in discipleship and ministry and seem to be alert to the potential of the Internet to help.

Churches who link their sites to allbelievers make it easier for folk to find out about courses.  Linking also improves search-engine rank and thus helps others to find courses.  If you would like to link ‘your’ site to allbelievers - great.  Let us know and we'll reciprocate.  And please think about courses yourself, and encourage others to grow.

Knowing Jesus is the longest established CCL course.  Based on the Emmaus face-to-face course of the same name, it helps us better to understand who Jesus was, what he taught and why he died.  Excellent for those who want to push their theology beyond what they learnt perhaps as children.     more >>>

Called to be Holy was developed to help learners understand why we are called to be holy and what this means.  A number of mature Christians have followed it and found it challenging and developmental.  “Why haven't I met this basic and crucial material in churches before?” is a typical evaluative response.   more >>>

Other Emmaus courses are Living Images and Life, Death and Christian Hope.  The former was enjoyed by the group that used it last year: how to live as those created in the image of God.  The latter will help you or those you nurture to understand better just what we do believe about “what comes next”.   more on LI >>>   more on L,D and CH >>>

Meeting the Challenge of Being a Christian at Work has two substantial parts (unsurprisingly: A and B).  Well-established, popular and important to those with a vision for banishing the artificial division between the sacred and secular worlds.   more >>>

Mission: Tradition meets the Future is a radical look at what ‘Mission’ means.  How do we build on people's own spiritual interest and sensitivity?  How do we incarnate the gospel so it can be seen as well as heard?  There are currently three learners waiting for a couple of others to join them in a learning community this Spring.   more >>>

Mini-reflection: Is it true for you that however many Christmasses you live, there is always a new revelation or insight to be had?  This year I was struck by the almost incognito way God chose to visit this planet.  How many people on the move were there in Judaea as a whole, and milling about in Bethlehem?  And God himself comes in the wholly unlikely form of a human baby in the yard of some back-street inn, noticed (so far as we are told) only by a rag-tag bunch of shepherds, tipped off by an angelic visitation.

Which prompted me to wonder where and how God is present in situations and circumstances in everyday life - mine, yours, that of the local and national community - and I don't recognise it because it doesn't fit my preconceptions about God.

And which also resonates with a quotation from Eberhard Arnold, founder of the Bruderhof Movement (a radical mid-European community seeking to be totally based on Christian principles): This is the root of grace: the dismantling of our power.  Whenever even a little power rises up in us, the Spirit and the authority of God will retreat to the corresponding degree.  In my estimation this is the single most important insight with regard to the kingdom of God.

laos eReflections go to a number of ordained leaders.  It is hoped that some readers will feel that they would like to pass a newsletter on to a friend, or to encourage a friend to subscribe.  That's the way the circulation grows and, we pray, the contribution to kingdom growth.  You can do this with the Forward to a Friend box or link at the bottom of each email, or by visiting www.allbelievers.org and following the links on the home page.  If you would like a few words of copy to go in a parish magazine, just ask. 

The discussion area set aside for following up issues raised in Supporting laos ministry has not been used much.  Probably finding it was too difficult for most.  Look out for an easier, one-click-to-reach-it discussion forum available early in 2004.

Each two-weekly newsletter costs several pounds (GB) to mail out using the Vertical Response system.  If you would like to help with the growing cost of this, click here.