Bexley-Seabury Offerings

The Diocese of Rhode Island, as part of Province I, has partnered with Bexley-Seabury Seminary to offer Pathways for Baptismal Living. Currently there are two courses we bring to your attention:

Backstory Preaching’s Sermon Camp

Over the course of seven weeks, you will learn an adaptable rhythm of sermon preparation so you routinely complete your sermons by Friday. This rhythm incorporates your spirituality so you preach Good News you believe, and preach it more effectively. This process of studying the sermon text is adapted from the ancient rhythm of Lectio Divina: read, study, express, and pray. While you will learn to employ this process over five contiguous days, it is expected you will adapt this process and schedule to suit your personality and calendar. In addition, you will learn and apply BsP’s “Heart of the Message” process to clarify and articulate your sermon’s message and content. You will also appraise sermons based on BsP’s definition of an effective sermon, with two sermons of your own and two of your peers. By the end of this course you will:

  1. Write better sermons faster
  2. Consistently complete your sermons on your desired schedule.
  3. Grow closer to God in the process of sermon prep.
  4. Create a sermon prep process to sustain you throughout your ministry.
  5. Preach into the uncertain state of the world.

This course is for those preparing for a Lay Preaching License and is meant for those who have gone through Education for Ministry, or taken the pre-requisite courses. Additional information on this course is here. If you are interested in becoming a Licensed Lay Preacher or Minister, please begin here.

More information and registration for Bexley Seabury courses is found here.

Discerning my path for faithful living

More than a course, this innovative communal process invites participants into a time of deep listening, practice of ancient and modern spiritual disciplines, and insights offered and received regarding individual gifts and passions — all within a brave/safe circle of trust. In addition to monthly synchronous Zoom meetings in small groups of 6-8 with a trained facilitator, participants will engage classic and current texts, videos and articles on discernment, spiritual practices, and the ministry of the baptized. Our journey together will be enriched with activities for self-reflection, guided conversations with others, and exploration of our own contexts. Our goal is to encourage each person to practice discernment of their call as a baptized Christian and equip them to actively be the Body of Christ in daily life.

This discernment process is meant to assist persons in finding their lay vocational ministry; it is not intended as a step towards ordained ministry.

More info here.

You can watch informational videos from the Instructor, and past participants.

Complete this online form.

The Diocese of Rhode Island is offering to pay $100.00 towards each tuition; it is expected that the participant and their parish will make up the difference. There is scholarship funding available, based on need.

Other formational opportunities with Bexley-Seabury will be coming. Please stay tuned.

Congregational Renewal Resources

Congregational Renewal Resources

Tuesdays at 2 (EST) conversations are offered to support lay and ordained leaders as they reengage their communities and connect with resources to help get them moving. Through conversation with other leaders, they can hear the voice of the Spirit, gain courage and resources to try new things and learn values and practices that propel them forward. The Tuesdays at 2 (EST) conversations will help them discern next steps – one of which might eventually be joining a Coached Small Group or the church-wide Practicing Community.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/888550363

Organized by The Rev. Thomas Brackett, Manager for Church Planting and Mission Development,
Presiding Bishop’s Staff, The Episcopal Church

From a recent conversation: Microstrategy

 

Congregational Development Commission

 

 

The Congregational Development Commission (CDC) provides funds for programs that strengthen congregations, especially those that are field testing new programs/initiatives on behalf of the diocese, done in partnership with other churches, or are part of a plan to spur significant growth, expand ministry, etc. CDC meets on the first Tuesday of every month.

Mustard Seed or Vineyard Grants

The CDC announces an ongoing grant program available to all congregations in Rhode Island. Do you envision a program or new ministry to help develop your congregation into a more faithful and vibrant expression of the Body of Christ? Do you have plans for making your congregation more responsive to the local challenges and opportunities before you in your community? How about ideas for transformative collaborations with other congregations that fit with your unique mission or vision for ministry? CDC Mustard Seed or Vineyard grants offer your congregation the financial support to put your vision into action. You can read about past recipient programs here.

Apply now for a Mustard Seed or Vineyard grant.

Mustard Seed grants are for proposals up to $2000. These grants can be approved immediately by the CDC at its monthly meetings.

Vineyard grants are proposals over $2000 and require both CDC and Diocesan Council approval. The application review and approval time for the Vineyard grants is two-three months.

Application Process:

The link above will take you to (a Wufoo) form which will serve as your application. You will be asked to upload an income statement. The application and your statement will be reviewed by the Grants and Loans Committee and if applicable forwarded to CDC and then if over $2,000.00 the grant request will be forwarded to Diocesan Council. You may be asked for additional information before a decision can be made. Grants and Loans Committee meets every Monday.  CDC meets on the first Tuesday of every month. Diocesan Council meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Advent Way of Love

New Advent resources include digital invitation kits

Advent Way of Love

Your church can “Prepare the Way of Love this Advent” with a new digital invitation kit from the Episcopal Church. The kit is part of a wide range of Advent and Christmas resources available here that include an updated “Journeying the Way of Love” Advent calendar and curriculum, AdventWord 2019, “Sermons That Work” compilation of Advent and Christmas selections, Advent reflections from Episcopal Migration Ministries, and bulletin inserts.

Grant money available for your congregation’s Way of Love events

The Congregational Development Commission (CDC) would love to help fund events and programs sponsored and run by YOUR congregation which would invite people across the diocese to experience the different practices in the Way of Love.
Every three months the CDC will focus on one of the specific spiritual practices, and hopes to sponsor at least one congregation’s event each quarter. What is it that you might be able to plan that we can help fund so that you can share it with the entire diocese?
Apply for a CDC grant here.

 

Which practice we will focus on each quarter:

 

April-June 2019: Turn
July-Sept. 2019: Learn
Oct.-Dec. 2019: Pray

Jan.-Mar. 2020: Worship
April-June 2020: Bless
July-Sept 2020: Go
Oct.-Dec.: 2020: Rest

How2charist videos and discussion guide

How2charist: digital instructed Eucharist

An instructed Eucharist in digital format, available 24/7.    All of the How2charist videos for viewing on our diocesan video portal.  You can view individual “chapters” or the full-length video.

The Diocese of Rhode Island was one of many sponsoring organizations and individuals who helped fund the project so it would be available to the whole Church for free. A Spanish-language version featuring native Spanish-speakers is currently in production.

How2charist Discussion Guide – black and white (easier photocopying)

How2charist Discussion Guide – full color

The How2charist project website. You can download your own copies of the videos for use in your parish by supplying an email address.

 

Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John

Have you ever wished to deepen your relationship with God? To experience a warm friendship with God? Maybe even fall in love with God – again – or for the very first time?

Meeting Jesus is a six-week journey and reflection on the Gospel According to John that includes videos from the monks of SSJE, a beautiful prayer journal, facilitation guide for small groups and more.

The Center for Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary has created resources to help your community get small groups going. These resources include:

  • Step-by-step small group facilitation guides for teens, young adults, adults, older adults, online, multi-parish, and diocesan small groups
  • Weekly small group curricula for teens, young adults, adults, and older adults
  • Daily, image-based, postable questions for online small groups
  • Discussion questions & activities based on the prayer journal
  • Faith at Home questions, prayers and activities
  • Quiet day planning tips, schedule and content
  • Timelines and helpful guidance for getting a new group going
  • Recommendations for dealing with “Extra Grace Required” folks
  • Moderated Facebook support group for facilitators
  • Facilitation coaching and live online facilitation Q&A sessions
  • Meeting Jesus orientation video
  • Communications materials

To download these resources, click HERE


SSJE (The Society of St. John the Evangelist better known as the Cowley Fathers) is  an Anglican religious order for men. The members live under a rule of life and, at profession, make monastic vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience. SSJE was founded in 1866 at Cowley, Oxford, England (hence the common name for the order). The order house closest to Rhode Island is located in Cambridge, MA with a retreat center, Emery House in West Newbury, MA. The brothers offer spiritual direction, individual and group retreats, workshops and you are always welcome to attend worship. Visit their website at https://www.ssje.org/visit/. You can also explore the possibility of becoming a brother by starting with this page on their website: https://catchthelife.org/.

The Way of Love:
An Intergenerational Gathering

As a means to introduce The Way of Love to children and families (including grandparents), this resource describes a 90-minute session to engage all ages in learning about the seven practices that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has called the Episcopal Church to follow in our daily life. Refreshments can be included and/or a simple potluck meal offered to conclude your gathering.

Download the resource HERE