Complete Adult Formation Kit
Complete Adult Formation Kit
I have been doing an Adult Education or Formation class each Sunday since the 1990s at Christ Episcopal Church Little Rock, Arkansas. Years ago I started to use PowerPoints lectionary / Bibles since you never knew how many copies of paper materials you'd need. Plus you can add art, stained glass, maps like those flip charts from Sunday Sc
I have been doing an Adult Education or Formation class each Sunday since the 1990s at Christ Episcopal Church Little Rock, Arkansas. Years ago I started to use PowerPoints lectionary / Bibles since you never knew how many copies of paper materials you'd need. Plus you can add art, stained glass, maps like those flip charts from Sunday School.
Some Churches already have all the things needed. The "How to" section has instructions that should allow any congregation to have an entertaining adult formation space on a budget.
The class materials here are free - I enjoyed making them and presenting them. I want you to enjoy them as well. You can do every course here for one initial investment of less than $200.00. If you are lucky enough to have a class space already equipped for PowerPoint, then you would have no cost.
Check out the samples and instruction videos to see what the possibilities are and know you can answer your call to formation. Technology can be intimidating, but also can let you explore so much more. The axe to be ground here is that adults in the Episcopal Church should know more about the Bible and what it does say and not what others
Check out the samples and instruction videos to see what the possibilities are and know you can answer your call to formation. Technology can be intimidating, but also can let you explore so much more. The axe to be ground here is that adults in the Episcopal Church should know more about the Bible and what it does say and not what others insist that it must say.
You can find that the Gospel is really very good news, not just kind of good. The Lord loves you and will never abandon you. The Lord is there if you look.
Masks, Social Distancing and washing hands, some thoughts. Here we can limit a deadly pandemic and the best way is basically free to us. Yet many resist, 2 Kings Chapter Five has a lesson. Wash your hands, wear your mask, and keep a little farther away.
If you have questions about the opportunities available to you in our programs, feel free to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Our hope is to help Episcopal Churches with Bible oriented Adult Education.
308 E 8th StreetLittle Rock, AR 72202
THE COLLECT Proper 26 Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. THE COLLECT Proper 26 The is week’s collect starts with an observation before the petition. The observation is : “it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service:…” The petition is that we then can “run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises;…” The request is that we are able to do as the Lord wishes with the acknowledgement that we can do so only through His grace. Proper 26 in years A and C include a reading from Thessalonians 1st in A and 2nd in C in which Paul addresses the collect’s observation. The OT lessons from all three years include stories that emphasize the importance and benefits of following God’s will that we to do good, seek justice, and rescue the oppressed. Ruth 1:1-18In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. Ruth 1:1-18 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband. Ruth 1:1-18 Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had considered his people and given them food. So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back each of you to your mother's house. Ruth 1:1-18 May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The LORD grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband." Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. They said to her, "No, we will return with you to your people." But Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Ruth 1:1-18 Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the LORD has turned against me." Ruth 1:1-18 Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. So she said, "See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law." But Ruth said, "Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Ruth 1:1-18 Where you die, I will die-- there will I be buried. May the LORD do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!" When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her. Introduction to Ruth The story of the lives of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz presents individuals who serve as models of faithful commitment to the God of Israel. The book was not in its present location until the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures. The location between Judges and 1 Samuel disrupts the flow but the editors of that time felt that the book related to the time of the Judges before the kingdom. Time / Date of Ruth The date of the book is uncertain which is important since it affects the meaning/purpose. If written before the Exile the book may have been intended to establish David’s ancestry, to affirm the practice of levirate marriage, or to commend the virtues of the book’s protagonists to ancient Israel. Time / Date of Ruth If after the Exile the author perhaps wished to show that a non-Israelite could become a faithful worshiper of the LORD in contrast to Ezra and Nehemiah, both of which consider intermarriage wrong. Like the books of Jonah and Isaiah 40–55, Ruth affirms that the concern of the Lord extends beyond the people of Israel to people of every nation. Modern Readers Modern readers may find meaning as well. Like the books of Jonah and Isaiah 40–55, Ruth affirms that the concern of the Lord extends beyond the people of Israel to people of every nation. It is also a book that looks at the lives of women from a woman’s perspective. The female characters in this story have depth and the text discusses their motivations in contrast to most OT writing which presents females one dimensionally. The story The story is set “when the judges ruled” and there was a famine. Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and two sons Mahlon and Chilion left their home in Bethlehem and went to Moab. The sons married Oprah and Ruth. Soon Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion are dead, leaving the players in the story. The Return Namoi, learning that the famine is over heads back home and encourages her daughter-in-law's to return to their families. Oprah does return, but Ruth cannot be persuaded and goes with Naomi back to Bethlehem. Once home the story of Ruth’s loyalty is known in the community. The rest of the story The two return to Bethlehem, where the Naomi answers questions from her friends. Naomi asks that they call her Mara – meaning the ‘all mighty has dealt harshly with me.’ They arrive un time for the Barley harvest Starvation However, Nomi and Ruth must live and thus Ruth goes out to glean [pick up the leavings from the harvest]. Naomi has two kinsmen, each with a duty to care for her and Ruth, but neither had stepped forward. There was very a close relative and also Boaz a wealthy man. Ruth goes into the fields for food and by chance gleans in the fields of Boaz. Gleaning This will make sense in a minute. One means of caring for the poor was decreed by God. Leviticus 19.9–10; “9 When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God. Human nature probably means this was honored more in the breach than observance. Simon Bening, Border with Naomi Grieving the Loss of Her Family
Flemish, Bruges, about 1525 – 1530, Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in, Getty Museum
This faces a miniature of Mary mourning Jesus. Nicolaas Verkolje,
Ruth and Naomi,
Oil on panel,
54 x 35 cm
Private collection Nicolas Poussin, Summer (Ruth and Boaz), 1660-64
Oil on canvas, 118 x 160 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris The Response Psalm 146 Page 803, BCP
Lauda, anima mea 1 Hallelujah!
Praise the LORD, O my soul! *
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 2 Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
for there is no help in them. 3 When they breathe their last, they return to earth, * and in that day their thoughts perish. Psalm 146 Page 803, BCP
Lauda, anima mea 4 Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help!*
whose hope is in the LORD their God; 5 Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
who keeps his promise for ever; 6 Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger. Psalm 146 Page 803, BCP
Lauda, anima mea 7 The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; 8 The LORD loves the righteous;
the LORD cares for the stranger; *
he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked. 9 The LORD shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Hallelujah! Psalm 146 Page 803, BCP Lauda, anima mea This is a Hymn praising God for his help and is part f the series known as the Hallelujah psalms, 146-150 which all start and end with Hallelujah. The Psalm is selected for todays reading because of Verse 6 but more to the point Verse 8 “8 The LORD loves the righteous;
the LORD cares for the stranger; *
he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked.” the righteous Ruth and Boaz, Strangers – Ruth and the widowed – Naomi. Deuteronomy 6:1-9 Moses said: Now this is the commandment--the statutes and the ordinances--that the LORD your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, so that you and your children and your children's children, may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. Deuteronomy 6:1-9 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:1-9 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Introduction to Deuteronomy Deuteronomy means the “second law” a transformation of law from Exodus into then contemporary post exilic terms. The book is ‘set’ at the end of Numbers with Israel encamped and prepared for an attack upon Canaan, the promised land. It was likely written after 621 B C when it was claimed to have been ‘discovered’ hidden in the Temple – see 2 Kings 22:11. The so called ‘Deuteronomistic History’ is a revision of history written after the exile to emphasize loyalty to the Law, Temple and Levitical Priest hood. The intention was to protect against the evils that lead to the condemnation of God shown in the exile. Having returned from the exile, the author wished to avoid a repeat. The same editor added comments and made other revisions elsewhere in the OT text with the same point of view. The text This text in known as the great commandment in both the OT and as we will see in today’s Gospel the NT. The text has a key characteristic the Deuteronomic tradition which is the assumption that reverent obedience will result in divine blessings of long life, fruitfulness, and welfare. In Jewish tradition these verses are known as the Shema, from the first word in the Hebrew (“shema‘”), which means “Hear.” Putting this law on the hand, forehead, and doorpost suggests that it is to be in one’s heart and constantly thought about and acted upon. The text is important to both Christians and Jews one of the areas of similarity. The Deuteronomic agenda The Deuteronomic editor intended by the revision to history and texts to protect Israel from another exile. Since the disregard of the Law and God’s wishes caused the exile, the editor sought to convince future generations that adherence to the Law would protect them. One means to this end was to build respect for the Law at every opportunity to rise it as the most important thing. Psalm 119:1-8 Page 763, BCP
Aleph: Beati immaculati 1 Happy are they whose way is blameless, *
who walk in the law of the LORD! 2 Happy are they who observe his decrees *
and seek him with all their hearts! 3 Who never do any wrong, *
but always walk in his ways. 4 You laid down your commandments, *
that we should fully keep them. Psalm 119:1-8 Page 763, BCP
Aleph: Beati immaculati 5 Oh, that my ways were made so direct *
that I might keep your statutes! 6 Then I should not be put to shame, *
when I regard all your commandments. 7 I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, *
when I have learned your righteous judgments. 8 I will keep your statutes; *
do not utterly forsake me. Psalm 119:1-8 Page 763, BCP
Aleph: Beati immaculati The Psalm is entitled simply “The Glories of God’s Law. The reading covers only 8 Verses but at 176 verses it’s length is remarkable. This is due to the Acrostic form in which each stanza consists of eight lines all beginning with the same Hebrew letter; the twenty-two stanzas use all the letters in turn. Nearly every line contains the word “law” or a synonym working well with the OT reading from Deuteronomy. Hebrews 9:11-14 When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, Hebrews 9:11-14 with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God! Introduction to the Letter to the Hebrews You will remember from last week that the three main points to Hebrews are: The superiority of Jesus Christ to the prophets, angels, and to Moses. The superiority of Christ's priesthood to the Priests; and (c) The superiority of Christ's sacrifice over those of the temple. Today is the as the on the second point next week will move on the temple. A New Quality We have been talking about the superiority of Jesus as a priest to the Levitical priests. Now we turn to the nature of the sacrifice to be offered – here Jesus is both priest and victim. Why is this superior? The victim is meaningful to God as His own Son. The offering occurs in a heavenly not a human constructed temple. The sacrifice is once offered and good for all for all time. Mark 12:28-34 One of the scribes came near and heard the Saducees disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' Mark 12:28-34 The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that 'he is one, and besides him there is no other'; and 'to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and 'to love one's neighbor as oneself,'--this is much more important Mark 12:28-34than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that no one dared to ask him any question. Context The reading come from the Last week of the earthly life of Jesus. Chapter 11 begins with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The reading is preceded by the parable of the Wicked Tenants [Vineyard] and payment of Taxes to Caesar. Both aimed squarely at the Jewish religious authorities. In Context Thus in context the reading is something of a surprise. The Pharisees have just been slammed. Jesus here reaffirms the promises made by God in the law as relevant. Jesus further indicates that these questioners are ‘not far’ from the kingdom. Stereotype ‘busted’ We’ve been told that the Pharisees were the persistent and chief opponents of Jesus. Yet here Jesus seems to affirm their world view and say that they are ‘close’ not polar opposites. Also note – Jesus actually spends a good bit of time with the Pharisees and we know that ultimately Paul, a Pharisee will become the great proponent. What’s up with this? Not Mark 12:28-34, but a story from Luke that illustrates loving one’s neighbor.
Parable of the Good Samaritan, 1670
Oil on canvas, 127 x 137 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg