Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: christian education

Sermon: Christian Education Sunday

Below is my sermon from yesterday, on Christian Education Sunday. It is a sermon in rhyme. As requested, the text is provided as well (though I probably have a few commas in the wrong places). If you use the Podcast app, you can listen by subscribing here. 

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Deacon’s Call: Barbara Ward

I’ve been collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries – ministries of service – expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners.  In this post you will hear from Barbara Ward who is an ordained deacon, retired, in the Virginia Annual Conference.  Here are Barbara’s words: 

Standing before the Bishop to be ordained as one of the first Virginia Conference Deacons in Full Connection was, for me, the answer to an impossible dream.

I was just sixteen years old when I received a calling to ministry. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I sat alone in the choir loft of my church, waiting for others to arrive for the Youth Choir Rehearsal. I was gazing idly at the empty church balcony when I was drawn to what looked vaguely like a blue cloud.

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Deacon’s Call: Heesung Hwang

I’ve been collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries – ministries of service – expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners.  In this post you will hear from Heesung Hwang who will be commissioned as a provisional deacon this June at Annual Conference. Here are Heesung’s words: 

My journey to ministry and theological study started from the conversation with my father when I was at the age of fourteen. He used to give me a ride to my school every morning and we shared lots of stories and thoughts. It was such enjoyable moments for both of us. One day, he talked about what he wanted to do in his life. He said he had wanted to set up an organization in order to help orphans because he also faced and experienced the misery of the Korean War and wanted to do something to improve the society as well as his own life.

However, it just did not happen in his weary life. In that morning, he said, “But I still want to do something for lonely children. Although I cannot afford to build an organization or an orphanage, I am about to start donating a small amount of money every month whether it is 5 dollars or 10 dollars.” Those statements just struck me. I said to my father as I got out of the car, “Dad, I will do it. If you don’t make it happen in your life, I will do it.”

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Deacon’s Call – Joanna Dietz

I’ve been collecting call stories from my friends who are serving in diaconal ministries – ministries of service – expressed in the United Methodist Church through the provisional and ordained deacon, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, and home missioners.  This post you will hear from Joanna Dietz who is an ordained deacon currently serving as  Minister of Mission and Service at Braddock Street United Methodist in Winchester, Virginia. Here are Joanna’s words: 

As a third generation clergy person, I’ve never known life outside the United Methodist Church. But I never thought I’d be called to serve as an ordained minister! I began teaching elementary music right out of college, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. However, it seemed that something was missing.

One Sunday, a new program was announced that was designed to help elementary children grow in both personal and social holiness. Every time it was mentioned, I began to feel deeply emotional.

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Sermon: Renew and Transform

 

Sermon: A Crisis It Will Be

I challenged myself for this sermon to write it in rhyme. This sermon was preached August 25, 2013 for Christian Education Sunday at Peakland United Methodist Church. The scripture texts were Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Luke 13:10-17.

The American Bible Challenge

As a Christian Educator, I know how challenging it can be to come up with creative ways to present the Bible and aid people in learning the Bible. I have taught about the friendship between Jonathan and David in the Old Testament using Facebook “walls.” I have seen countless churches do their own version of Jeopardy as a refresher for the unit they just taught in Sunday school.

GSN premiered its new game show, The American Bible Challenge, last week that presents Bible trivia in some creative ways. Host Jeff Foxworthy, yes the Foxworthy of “You might be a Redneck, if . . .” fame, guides three teams through various rounds of Bible trivia. In the first round, three teams of three buzz in to reply to the question from a list of multiple choice answers. It’s the middle-school version of Jeopardy.  In the second round, the teams of three are reduced to two and each team is given their own question to answer, no buzzing. This gives each team a chance to show up on the board.  In the third round, the teams of two are reduced to one.  The third round is the “choose three” round. Each question has three correct answers. Points are awarded for each correct answer.

From here, the two teams with the highest scores enter the Revelation Round. The two teams are given ten minutes for “Bible study” where they cram as much as they can about the broad topic they will be quizzed on. So far topics have been “Women of the Bible” and “Animals in the Bible.” The first team is brought out and they answer as many questions in sixty seconds as they are given on the topic. Afterwards, the other team (who has been a sound proof room) comes on stage to answer the same set of questions in sixty seconds.

The first episode presented somewhat fairly easy questions, which left much to be desired. However, this week’s episode, the questions increased in difficulty. There were some questions that Megan and I, both seminary grads, didn’t have answers for. This was actually welcomed as we played along. There is a lot about the Bible that many do not know.  And they present the trivia in some creative ways, including Biblical figure’s Facebook pages and tweets; fill-in-the-blank Bible verses from Tim Tebow’s eye; and Word of the Lord vs. Lord of the  Rings.

The coolest part of the show is that the teams are playing for their favorite charities. Some have played for soup kitchens, local churches, and cancer-related non-profits. And, staying Biblical, no one is a loser. Each team walks away with some money for their organization. The winning team gets to come back at the end of the season and compete with other winning teams for an even bigger prize.

Aside from the awkardly staged gospel choir, the GSN might be on to something.

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