... 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,
The number who receive the laos
newsletter, which seeks to help us to become better at thinking and
acting Christianly in every corner of life, has gone up to well over
500 during the past year - 20% growth. And more than 180 - 80%
growth - are interested enough in eLearning in Christian education
to allow me to send them that newsletter twice a month.
Each two-weekly newsletter costs several pounds (GB) to mail out
using the Vertical Response system. If you could help with the
growing cost of this, click here
to go to the secure ecommerce site where you can make a contribution
of any size you choose.
Finally, guest writers are welcome - let me know if you'd
like to help in this way!
other events >>>
at Work >>>
Death, Hope >>>
2005 - Being Beside Someone
What does eLearning “feel like”?
course unit typically lasts a week and there might be four units to
the whole course. Before the course begins, you'll connect
to the Internet a couple of times to visit the learning web site,
protected by your own id and password. You'll practice using
the learning tools in an embarrassment-free way, contributing to
discussion, sending emails, reading multimedia material,
participating in live text-chat. Easy and quick to get
familiar with the technology so it's a tool, not an
The course begins, you visit the
site. Nice that Activity 1 is to write a few words about
yourself and send a mugshot so that everyone gets to know other
course members right at the start. Take in some learning
material, visit the first discussion to read contributions so far
made and log off. Over the next day ponder what you're going
to offer to the discussion, maybe even compose 75 words off-line if
you prefer. You log on next day, visit the discussion forum,
send your contribution, see who else has said what, make a response
to something that interests you. Read the next learning
material, print it if you wish and log off. No time tomorrow
evening, but Saturday morning's OK so you visit to check whether
anyone has responded to your
contribution to the first discussion.
There may be
three or four topics in each unit, with an activity of some sort
associated with each. Surprising how engaged you become even
when you're not connected. As someone said, “It was more
like an extended 24/7 ‘quiet time’ than a course.” After
the four weeks of the event (and a week's breather in the middle),
you're surprised how much you've learnt, how much you remember, how
devotional as opposed to cold and academic it was and how much
you've changed. It probably took a total of 3-4 hours a week,
but you feel that you've learnt significantly more than you would
have done for this investment of time in a face-to-face environment.
wanted, 3 eLearners ...
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. Please consider joining this course for
the January 14th start or for Lent on 9.2.04. more >>>
Don't forget (1), if you're unfamiliar with eLearning
as an educational and formational tool, and want to find out more,
the best first step is to join a course and participate.
Back at work, have you faced the question: “so your God creates
a planet so perfect that it kills people 100000 at a time?”
My tiny contribution is perhaps more a perspective for us as
Christians than for lobbing at not-yet-believers in defence of
God, and it's to explore the fallen nature of creation as
something cosmic and not merely personal. Genesis 3 (17-19)
suggests that in some way the Earth is cursed as a result of
humankind's desire to be in control. How and to what degree, we
have little idea beyond what life's experience reveals. I am
interested, though, that earthquakes are sometimes associated with
‘cosmic activity’ such as is described in Romans 5 - for
Matthew's account (27:54, 28:2), an
earthquake accompanies both Jesus’ death and his resurrection. Jesus himself
(Mt 24:7, Mk 13:8) describes them as “birth pangs”, not
aberrations, and a number are mentioned in Revelation, an allegory, so
we believe, of the concluding ‘scenes’ of the present era.
So perhaps earthquakes are very much part of the fallen,
being-redeemed cosmos, entirely in line with a biblical
understanding of the kingdom of God as both now and not yet. Not
to be explained away with embarrassment, but explored as congruent
with a Christian world view.
Read Romans 8:18-23, but also Rowan Williams in Sunday's Telegraph
lest God seem mere accomplice to suffering on the scale we've seen
this week. And let the last word go to Alan Amos: This is not a
God who merely manipulates nature and humanity, interfering at
whim; our God endures and suffers with us the consequences of the
act of creation.
wanted, 3 with a heart for mission ...
Mission: Tradition meets the Future is a
radical look at what ‘Mission’ means in the 21st Century
western world. How do we build on
people's own spiritual interest and sensitivity? What is
crucial? What is cultural or ecclesiastical accretion? There
are currently three learners waiting for more to join
them in a learning community that will take 10 weeks to read Vincent
Donovan's Christianity Rediscovered (“One of the great books of mission theology in the last
couple of decades”) plus passages from Acts of the Apostles.
This is a course for leaders. After its 2004 run, one
challenging, very stimulating, very enjoyable and very worthwhile. I shall
still be learning as a result of this course well into the future and that
to me is the measure of a good course.” Don't miss this
chance; it won't run again before September.
most CCL learning events will also be run over the 5 weeks of Lent, starting on Ash Wednesday
(9.2.04). Please consider joining yourself, or encourage
others to. In particular if you'd
like some flyers for your church, let me know how many and to where
to send them. Just ‘reply’ to this newsletter.
forget (2), all courses are available on a “whatever you can afford”
basis and there is a money-back-if-not-satisfied guarantee.